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ROLE OF THE NUCLEAR POWER I
IN THE ANALYSIS OF
CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Ted A. Lloyd, Jr.
Advisor Lt. Col. D. P.
Burke , USAI
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Nuclear power, nuclear industry and commerce, political and
economic analysis, France, arms transfer, reprocessing, re-
20. ABSTRACT (Contlnua an rttfWN »idm It nocotamrr and Idanttty by block mambor)
Political analysis must keep pace with rapidly changing, ever
more complex international relations. This thesis suggests that
a systematic study of the nuclear energy issue is one logical
choice for comprehensive international political analysis.
Nuclear power policies and debates are examined for their ability
to reflect current international trends of conflict and coopera-
tion. Nuclear-related events trigger responses over a wide range
of issues, permitting an analyst to observe the various courses
1 JAN 73
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of national foreign policy in action. As one observes how
nations interact in response to nuclear events, patterns are
revealed, thus increasing one's knowledge of contemporary
international relations. A paradigm is offered to systematize
the analysis of nuclear-related events. A nuclear perspective
is illustrated by examining worldwide trends on a global
scale, European trends on a continental scale, and French
foreign and domestic policies on a national scale. The
nuclear power perspective serves as a valuable analytical
tool with which to chart and interpret trends and events .
DD l5^"? 3 U73 . 2 UMCLaaSlEIEfl
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THE ROLE OF THE NUCLEAR POWER ISSUE IN THE
ANALYSIS OF CONTEMPORARY INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Ted Allen Lloyd, Jr.
Major, United States Air Force
M.A. , University of Northern Colorado, 1976
B.A., Gettysburg College, 1965
Submitted in partial fulfillment of the
requirements for the degree of
MASTER OF ARTS IN NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS
NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL
Dej$i of Information and Policy Sciences
Political analysis must keep pace with rapidly changing,
ever more complex international relations. This thesis suggests
that a systematic study of the nuclear energy issue is one logi-
cal choice for comprehensive international political analysis.
Nuclear power policies and debates are examined for their abil-
ity to reflect current international trends of conflict and
cooperation. Nuclear-related events trigger responses over a
wide range of issues, permitting an analyst to observe the
various courses of national foreign policy in action. As one
observes how nations interact in response to nuclear events,
patterns are revealed, thus increasing one's knowledge of con-
temporary international relations. A paradigm is offered to
systematize the analysis of nuclear-related events. A nuclear
perspective is illustrated by examining worldwide trends on a
global scale, European trends on a continental scale, and French
foreign and domestic policies on a national scale. The nuclear
power perspective serves as a valuable analytical tool with
which to chart and interpret trends and events .
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. NUCLEAR-ORIENTED INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 14
A. THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE 14
B. CHANGES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS ■ 17
1. New Language 13
2. Political 19
3. Military 19
4. Economic 21
C. INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS 2 3
1. Suppliers Club 23
2. Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zones 24
3. Nonproliferation Treaty 25
4. Uranium Cartel 26
D. A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS 2 7
1. A Paradigm is Needed 28
2 . Five-Step Methodology 30
II. THE CONTINENTAL PERSPECTIVE 33
A. THE NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY: A FORCE FOR THE
FISSION OR FUSION OF EUROPEAN RELATIONS 33
B. EVALUATING THE NUCLEAR ENERGY OPTION FOR WESTERN
1. The European Community 38
2. France 41
3. West Germany 45
4. Sweden ■ 46
5. Italy 47
6. Spain 47
7. Britain ■ 48
8. The Netherlands 49
C. WESTERN EUROPE COOPERATES TO GENERATE 49
D. PROSPECTS FOR COOPERATION AS EASTERN EUROPE
CHOOSES THE NUCLEAR OPTION 57
1. INTERATOMENERGO 58
2. Romania 59
3. Roots of Dissention 61
4. Prospects for Change 63
5. European Detente 67
E. POLITICAL FORCES AFFECTING TRANS-EUROPEAN UNITY 6 8
F. CONCLUSION: NUCLEAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AS AN
ANALYTICAL TOOL 72
III. THE NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: NUCLEAR ENERGY AND FOREIGN
A. THE FRENCH RESPONSE TO DWINDLING ARMS SALES IS
1. Reasons for Success 80
2. Reasons for Decline 83
3. French Nuclear Advantage 85
4. Search for Markets 86
B. ARMS TRANSFER POLICIES AND NUCLEAR EXPORT
POLICIES 3 9
1. Presenting the Evidence 39
2. Historical Parallel Patterns 91
3. Summarizing the Similarities 107
4 . Conclusion ■ ■ 109
C. NUCLEAR ENERGY AND FRENCH FOREIGN POLICY 111
1. Definity French Foreign Policy 113
2. The Role of Independent International Actor 114
3. Guardian of Third World Stability 115
4. Influencing the Reorganization of Europe 120
5. Paris as a World Wide Metropolis 125
D. NUCLEAR ENERGY AND FRENCH DOMESTIC POLITICS 130
1. Public Debate 131
2. The Role of Nuclear Power Analysis 132
3 . Conclusion 136
IV. CONCLUSION 138
APPENDIX - Countries That are Parties to the Nuclear Non-
Proliferation Treaty 144
BIBLIOGRAPHY 14 5
INITIAL DISTRIBUTION LIST 158
LIST OF TABLES
I. ESTIMATED NUCLEAR POWER GROWTH, WESTERN EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES AND UNITED STATES 39
II. URANIUM PRODUCTION CAPACITIES AND WORLD URANIUM
REQUIREMENTS, 1974 THROUGH 1985 41
III. FRENCH ENERGY CONSUMPTION, 19 74 AND 19 75 ACTUAL AND
19 85 PROJECTIONS 4 2
IV. SUPPLY OF URANIUM ENRICHMENT UNDER CONTRACT TO USERS
IN EUROPEAN COMMUNITY 55
This thesis will examine the systemic role of nuclear
energy in contemporary international relations . This examina-
tion will produce evidence to show that nuclear energy issues
and debates have closely paralleled the major policy issues
and debates that form the basis for both foreign and domestic
policy. It is therefore possible to gain new insight into the
field of international relations from an understanding of the
role played by nuclear energy in the formulation of foreign
The question of nuclear energy has become a heated topic
in both national and international politics. Although nuclear
energy has been debated and analyzed from many perspectives
over the past thirty years, certain aspects of nuclear power
are often overlooked. Most of the oversights occur for one
or more of the following reasons. Nuclear events tend to be
studied as independent phenomena without regard to inherent,
interdependent linkages. Secondly, questions of national
security, and military applications of nuclear weaponry tend
to acquire a disproportionate emphasis and consequently dom-
inate much of the current analyses of nuclear power. Third,
some aspects are overlooked simply because they are very
subtle, very indirect responses to nuclear interactions.
Subtlety does not obviate all significance however. Fourth,
rapid technological and economic changes demand new per-
spectives. Older models, systems, and paradigms may no longer
be applicable to recent developments. Therefore, this thesis
will serve to acquaint the reader with the complex nature of
nuclear energy as a contemporary political and economic issue
Some narrowing of the thesis topic is necessary. While
the military aspect is important, it has been thoroughly
developed elsewhere, and will not be the primary subject of
this thesis. Furthermore, this thesis will not attempt to
prove or disprove the suitability of nuclear energy as a
solution to the problem of energy scarcity. However, the
post oil embargo search for secure, unencumbered energy has
elevated nuclear power into the forefront of domestic and
international politics. While some nations have taken a
cautious approach to the spread of nuclear power, other
nations have shown an aggressive commitment to a nuclear-
powered future. Therefore, as nations modify their foreign
policy in an attempt to achieve energy independence through
nuclear development, they are forced to contend with the
foreign policies of other nations who oppose the spread of
nuclear power. Nuclear energy may constitute both the force
behind, and the source of, politico-economic cooperation and
conflict between nations. These nuclear-related interactions
form the basis of new international relationships, and are
the subject of this thesis.
A broader conceptual framework is necessary to properly
interpret recent political developments in international
relations. This framework can be viewed from three levels
of magnification: global, continental and national. The
world view, the global perspective, is presented in Chapter I,
entitled "Nuclear-Oriented International Relations." The
global view concerns the worldwide international infrastructure
that has developed as a result of suppliers and consumers
monopolizing uranium supplies and nuclear power consortiums.
This global system exists as a legacy of the OPEC oil cartel
and reflects the emergence of new patterns of international
Chapter II will narrow the focus to an examination of
just the European continent. The European nations will be
studied as they seek energy independence through nuclear
power. This will be followed by an analysis of the political
and economic relations between these European nations as they
are affected by nuclear power. Finally, Chapter II will use
the global perspective of nuclear relations to show how
nuclear energy has influenced Eastern and Western European
Chapter III will complete the examination by narrowing
the focus to one European country. France will be studied
for its ability to use nuclear energy to enhance its foreign
policy. Thus, the broad concepts of international nuclear
relations will be presented from a national perspective.
The author believes that by identifying the often dis-
counted ability of national nuclear energy policies to
influence international relations on a national, continental
and global scale, a new perspective can be acquired. This
nuclear perspective will become a valuable analytical tool
to chart and interpret trends and events during the next
several decades of international relations.
The following methodology will be used to identify nuclear
energy related events and place them in the proper conceptual
framework. Current issues require current sources for meaning-
ful trend analysis. Nuclear energy, therefore, will be
examined through a content analysis of recent books, periodicals,
and newspaper accounts of the issues surrounding nuclear power.
Personal interviews with American and French officials familiar
with the nuclear power industry are a part of the research
design. This thesis deals with events as they existed prior
to summer 19 78. Any related events that occur after this
period can be studied using the perspective and analytical
technique identified in this thesis.
It is recognized that much of what is asserted in this
thesis about the role of nuclear energy in international
relations could also be said about the other energy options.
For example, mining and exploration for oil, coal, natural
gas and uranium ore involve similar international trade
agreements and economic reciprocity. There are also many
similarities between solar, geo-thermal and nuclear generated
power in the area of advanced energy research and development.
However, while one may draw correlations between what is said
about nuclear energy and the other energy options, it is the
unique ability of nuclear energy to reflect the entire spectrum
of energy issues.
It is precisely this all-encompassing characteristic
which makes an examination of the nuclear energy option
particularly significant to the political analyst. The
issues which emerge from such an examination are significant
because they reflect foreign policy questions which nations
must resolve as they adapt to the impending energy crisis.
Moreover, since nuclear energy policies exist in the main-
stream of contemporary international relations, those
policies can serve as political and economic indicators to
chart the "drift," if not the substance, of political and
economic trends .
I. NUCLEAR-ORIENTED INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
A. THE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
International relations are studied from many different
perspectives and by several disciplined approaches. However,
the impact of nuclear "power," military, political, or eco-
nomic, has transformed international relations beyond the
scope of standard rules for economic or political analysis.
A new perspective may be necessary to understand the convo-
luted nature of nuclear technology and its unconventional
ability to influence foreign policy output.
Proper perspective is the crux of accurate analyses.
The old parable of the six blind men attempting to describe
the true nature of the elephant provides an apt analogy.
The elephant was actually the sum of its various character-
istics -- viewed from a larger perspective. Caught up in the
narrower interpretations, the blind men were unable to reach
a consensus. The objective then, is to discover as many
individual variables, or characteristics of the subject as
possible, relating them to form a more comprehensive analysis
Nuclear technology has introduced a number of new vari-
ables acting on the political and economic structure of
international relations. These variables appear in the news
daily, in many forms. They can be seen as nuclear events -
involving weapons, energy policies, resources, technology
transfers, trade or treaty agreements, and terrorism. Each
event is related to the other, not so much by the word
"nuclear" as by the disruptive effect which that event may
have on the world community.
For example, if a nation takes action to acquire a
nuclear reactor and the reason is perceived to be that
nation's desire to achieve energy self-sufficiency or escape
from oil-dominated politics, then traditional analyses are
often considered complete. However, traditional analyses
ignore certain other aspects of this event, such as commerce,
balance of payments, etc. The once clear distinction between
commercial uses of nuclear technology and its military appli-
cation is rapidly fading. This is especially true of the
weapons grade plutonium byproduct of the recently introduced
breeder reactors. Conventional balances of military power
are upset by the potential ability of one state to resort to
nuclear weapons in a regional crisis. As these examples
illustrate, the real changes in international relations
brought about by nuclear technology may be overlooked if
analyses of nuclear events are confined to traditional
The enormous power of nuclear energy to deter or compel
often overshadows its more subtle power to interact in
political and economic spheres. David Yergin writing in the
Atlantic Monthly says that the interaction of nuclear energy
with other factors is often overlooked because we still tend
to think that all major nuclear developments will involve
advanced industrial states. However., Yergin points out that
one can see the outline of new "atomic alliances" crisscrossing
the world. For example, Argentinian scientists are at work in
Iran's nuclear program, and Egyptian scientists are being
trained at the nuclear facility that gave India its explosive
[191 • 56 1
device. J Therefore, established paradigms for the study
of international nuclear relations must be modified to include
the global implications of a nuclear-oriented event.
Additionally, William Epstein, a nuclear advisor to the
United Nations, has said that "the production of nuclear arms
may not enhance a nation's security since its neighbors will
look upon its intentions with suspicion and the nuclear
powers will regard its achievement as a destabilizing
[ 38 • 3 1
factor." ' He asserts that "regional arms races may break
out with devastating effects on fragile economies
David Baldwin, in his article entitled "America in an Inde-
pendent World: Problems of United States Foreign Policy,"
adds additional factors which complicate the analysis of
nuclear events. He claims that energy shortages, involve-
ment of multinational corporations in the nuclear power
industry, and the potential for domestic and international
prestige will probably enhance proliferation. J In short,
nuclear energy events can interact with other political and
economic events to create new inputs to international
This thesis presents the argument that the transforma-
tion of international relations, by the evolution of nuclear
power, has either been ignored, exaggerated to extremes, or
analyzed piecemeal. The following section will show the
extent of change in political, military, and economic ele-
ments of inter-"nuclear" relations. Next, section C will
present evidence that a worldwide interactive network has
developed as a response designed to deal realistically with
the ancillary consequences of nuclear energy. Finally, a
paradigm is suggested to enable foreign policy analysts to
study nuclear-related events in a nomothetic rather than
ideographic manner. Based on content analysis, the paradigm
is put forth as a method of linking the independent variables -
things nuclear - with the dependent variable - foreign policy
B. CHANGES IN INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
The political, military and economic aspects of inter-
national relations have all undergone subtle changes as
nations have adapted patterns of behavior to cope with nuclear
technology. One approach to identifying these changes is to
look at the new language for foreign policy analysis which
the adaptation process has spawned. For instance, it is now
common to speak of economic alliances between suppliers and
consumers, irrespective of military institutions or political
ideologies . A decade ago nations were simply nuclear or non-
nuclear. Today these distinctions are not adequate. A nation
may have exploded a nuclear device yet is not considered a
nuclear weapons state until it possesses the ability to
deliver it. Furthermore, even the less developed nations are
being categorized by their "nearness" to achieving nuclear
status. Clearly a new langauge has evolved to communicate
this change in "nuclear" relations.
1 . New Language
The word "nuclear" invokes bad connotations like the
word "cancer." It is hard to distinguish between the nuclear
power to build from its power to destroy. The Eisenhower
administration tried to give nuclear technology a new look,
with its Atoms for Peace Program, but the technology grew
faster than man's ability to control its usefulness or appli-
cation. Today nuclear power is synonymous with political
power, military power, and economic independence. Even the
original dangers associated with nuclear energy in the
scientific sense have acquired dangerous connotations in the
political sense — dangers not originally thought about or
planned for by the nuclear safety engineers. New terms are
used to describe these dangers such as "proliferation,"
"fast breeder reactors," "waste disposal," "environmental
impact," "technology transfers," and "nuclear blackmail."
In the last case, a handful of terrorists can, with a few
ounces of plutonium, elevate non-state actors to equal terms
with the most powerful nations in the world. New terms for
explaining the change to international relations must there-
fore be used in a new framework of foreign policy analysis.
2 . Political
The inadequacy of treating the new age of nuclear
politics with the standard rules of political analysis is
illustrated by the effect of "breeder reactors" on time.
Safeguards, designed into the Non-proliferation Treaty, (NPT) ,
have worked well for over a decade by relying on open inspec-
tion to signal a diversion from commercial manufacturers of
energy to military applications. Once detected, diplomatic
pressures by other treaty members were counted on to force
the issue to a satisfactory conclusion. However, according
to Dr. Joseph Nye, one of Carter's top advisors, breeder
reactors provide states with readily available quantities of
weapons grade plutonium. This military capability may be
used as a last resort by a nation reacting to preserve its
national interests in a crisis. "This evolution would leave
less time for diplomacy to work in cases where intentions
were volatile. * Therefore, the time constraint which
enabled diplomatic intervention in a previous decade is now
3 . Military
The recent constraints imposed on the political
interaction of nations by nuclear proliferation are also
evident in the military sphere. The state of nuclear
weapons technology has recently advanced to the point where
the two superpowers, the U.S. and Soviet Union, have had to
avoid on occasion direct intervention in crisis situations.
It is SIPRI's belief that "...the nuclear arsenals of the
great powers have grown so large as to exceed any conceivable
political or military need." L - 1 Even conventional responses
by these nuclear superpowers are considered too dangerous to
attempt. Mercenaries or political proxies are substituted
for great power interests in places such as Angola and Zaire.
While the United States and the Soviet Union remain
hamstrung by their overabundance of military power, several
other nations have rushed into the resultant power vacuum to
exercise conventional economic and military politics. Just
recently, for instance, the world witnessed the major roles
of France and Cuba in the African continent.
Other countries such as India, Brazil, and Iran are
l~191 • 54 1
striving for what is now known as "regional hegemony ." L
It appears that nuclear technology has hastened the decline
of bipolarity between the super "nuclear" powers and given
rise to new independent actions between regional military
powers. The immediate threat of nuclear proliferation may
shift the focus of military power from the exclusive domain
of the five nuclear weapons states to what Daniel Yergin has
("191 • 49 1
called a "nuclear weapons crowd." L * J
Another change in international relations concerns
the Third World's view of nuclear weapons as a way to
achieve international recognition. As Daniel Yergin explains:
In the United Nations and many other councils, the
Third World countries have been asserting their in-
dependence, declaiming on the subject of their
equality, and in general, blaming the First World
for all their problems. Some of them believe that
the acquisition of nuclear weapons is one of the most
visible ways to assert their power and influence . 1191 : 53 j
According to Ted Greenwood, "Most states with a
nuclear potential regard these weapons as a political, not
a military instrument by which to exert increased pressure
internationally." 1 - : -I This seems to be the case in
Syrian President Hafez Assad's trying to arrange a deal under
which his country would obtain nuclear technology from India,
which exploded a nuclear device in 1974. Though Syria has
signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and thus formally
renounced any intention of acquiring nuclear weapons, Assad
is reportedly convinced that Israel will never bargain for
real peace until one of the Arab countries can wage nuclear
war . L J
4 . Economic
The incentives to maintain political and military
parity — despite the rapid shifts in the traditional balance
of power brought about by a proliferation of nuclear
technology--have created a new worldwide economic order.
Norman Fall, in his article "Atoms for Brazil, Danger for
All," explains the recent change this way:
Formerly, US domination of uranium enrichment
technology precluded the entrance of other
nations into nuclear competition. US control
of the international market was jeopardized
when projected commercial demands for enriched
fuel exceeded the capacity of AEC plants, and
countries such as Germany were forced to develop rcn.-|c fi i
and trade experimental technologies for resources. ' J
Therefore, nuclear economics, whether in the form of sources
of raw uranium for electrical power plants or marketable
technology in the form of reactors, or direct transfers of
weapons, is a new force in the study of international relations
The nuclear economy has developed certain characteris-
tics which require a new pattern for international market
behavior. As Tony Benn, Britain's Minister for Energy puts
President Carter's new energy proposals confront
the massed alliance of the world nuclear lobby.
They have different interests and the friction
lies where the national interests differ. Britain
has lots of oil and coal. Italy doesn't. Saudi
Arabia has huge quantities of oil. The United
States has lots of uranium. It is not hard to
find out why there are differences of approach;
what we must look for is common interests . [164 :E19 ]
Interests range from a desire to corner the nuclear
reactor market, to achieving energy self-sufficiency. The
effect of this competition has been to alter the world's
There is evidence to indicate that a shift from an
oil-dominated economic system toward a nuclear economic
system has already begun. The oil cartels are being watched
closely by uranium cartels waiting and operating in the
periphery. New collaborative networks have evolved from the
group of nations recently made unwilling dependents of oil
politics. The haves and the have-nots are vying for position
which will maximize opportunities to gain secure sources of
The magnitude of this new world economic order needs
to be studied in sharp focus before economic and political
policies are enacted. The next section of this chapter will
argue that a nuclear community already exists and is acting
as a separate entity with a political life and force of its
own. This international infrastructure stands to inherit
the legacy of international power and influence which was
developed to serve the oil economy.
C. INTERNATIONAL NETWORKS
If the United States were the only country with nuclear
technology, the problem of managing the spread of nuclear
energy utilization would be difficult enough. But there are
already some thirty countries with nuclear reactor programs
and at least five other countries with advanced breeder
reactor programs. Ted Greenwood has warned, "If enough states
go nuclear in rapid succession, the ability of international
systems to adjust might be swamped." 1 - * * The Carter
administration does not believe that nuclear isolationism is
possible in today's world. The President has said that,
"Planning for the future of nuclear power must be an inter-
national effort involving all nations interested in nuclear
power, consumers, and suppliers alike." 1 - " - 1 The follow-
ing examples will show that political, military, and economic
networks have emerged to deal with the problems associated
with a new age of nuclear cooperation and competition.
1 . Suppliers Club
The most important cooperative initiative was Henry
Kissinger's convening of a "Suppliers Club" L after
the surprising Indian atomic test in 1974. The club originally
included seven nations possessing the capability to export
nuclear technology. These supplier nations were later joined
by eight prospective consumers during the club's secret delib-
erations in London.
The establishment of a new international deliberative
body like the Suppliers Club illustrates the changing politi-
cal environment. President Carter, speaking of this change,
said last year:
The hour is too late for business or politics, for
diplomacy as usual.... An alliance for survival is
needed, transcending regions and ideologies, if we
are to assure mankind a safe passage into the
Twenty-first Century. The nuclear community is
currently working toward six interlocking agreements
with allied, neutral, and communist cooperation in
some. Taken together, the prospective accords
would form key elements of a new world regime to
introduce greater order into all stages of nuclear
energy development . L61 : ° J
Thus, the problem of proliferation, just one of the many
aspects of nuclear power, has brought past adversaries to-
gether in a new spirit of cooperation. In fact, few other
events in recent history have been the source of such wide-
spread agreement between the United States and Soviet Union
than mutual concern over nuclear proliferation.
2 . Nuclear-Weapons Free Zones
Several quasi-legal political alliances have sprung
up to deal with the inability of the established regulatory
agencies to control recent nuclear proliferation. The move
to prohibit nuclear weapons in Africa was initiated at a
meeting of the Organization of African Unity, where a Nuclear-
Weapons-Free Zone (NWFZ) treaty was discussed. The Treaty of
Tlatelolco (1967) , banning nuclear weapons in Latin America
was used as a model for a regional agreement in Africa.
William Epstein believes that a NWFZ treaty in Africa might
create "new moral pressures" against South Africa's acquiring
nuclear weapons. 1 J Such alliances provide the networks
through which formal agreements have been modified to fit the
changing political environment.
3 . Nonproliferation Treaty
The formal Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) , signed by
102 nations, came into force in 1970. (See Appendix) However,
this delicate international arrangement failed to prevent a
signatory like India from developing a weapons technology on
its own. This led to an ad hoc international safeguard system
outside the formal multilateral NPT framework. Canada, for
example, India's chief source of nuclear technology, unilat-
erally insisted that India not make nuclear explosives "of
any description" within Canadian-supplied facilities.
In addition to Canada's unilateral action, the formal NPT
system of international safeguards had to be supplemented
with economic sanctions. This illustrates the declining
influence of the major economic powers.
To handle the problem of the declining influence of
the major economic powers in the world today, Zbigniew
Brzezinski called for a "New international economic order."
Commenting on this Time magazine noted:
The changes are necessary, he argues, because 'an
old-world order is coming to an end and the shape
of a new world community is yet to be defined. '
The old order, based largely on military power and
nationalism, is giving way to "a technetronic age"
in which there will be increasing emphasis on
economic development and social justice. The old
East-West ideological struggle will wane in impor-
tance; the North-South struggle for control of vital
raw materials will gain in importance . [194 :18]
4 . Uranium Cartel
Typical of how the international economic order is
changing is the evolution of an international network involv-
ing uranium ore. Considerable evidence has been uncovered by
a federal grand jury, a House subcommittee, and a New York
State legislative office's investigations that a uranium
cartel has been active since 1972. Time magazine reported that
The cartel — known as 'the club' to its members--
was organized by the Canadian government, initially
to prevent what in 1972 looked like an imminent
drop in the price of one of Canada's most important
export commodities — uranium. The cartel included
companies from Canada, Australia, Britain, France,
and South Africa, as well as the governments of all
those countries except Britain. Gulf Oil, the only
known American participant, was represented through
a Canadian subsidiary. The group set up a formal
headquarters in Paris, complete with a paid secre-
tariat, policy and operating committees, and
detailed rules for dividing up markets and fixing
This cartel has evolved partially as a response to the
OPEC economic monopoly. It is an example of a new network
made possible by the shifting economic environment. Robert
Pfaltzgraff gives the following explanation of this shift:
In the midst of an international economic
recession, the sale of nuclear technology (now
a multibillion dollar business) affords export-
ing countries tempting means of alleviating
balance-of-payments deficits caused by higher
oil prices and rampant inflation. Increasing
oil prices provide an incentive for the exploi-
tation of other energy sources, such as nuclear
power, that have become competitive in price . [137 : 317]
The "Suppliers Club," the Nuclear Weapons-Free-Zone
treaty, unilateral political sanctions, unified Third World
opposition, and the Uranium Cartel are only a few examples of
the many networks which have sprung up to deal with the changes
touched on in the previous section. As nuclear technology
continues to alter international relations, a new perspective
may be useful to monitor the interaction between these networks.
D. A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
For the purpose of defining and accumulating data about
international affairs, the analyst studies the "issues" of
"the organizational processes," or utilizes any number of
convenient models which serve to correlate the different
perspectives. However, nuclear weapons, nuclear industries,
or nuclear energy economies too often are studied as separate
phenomena. This approach fails to recognize the interdepend-
ence of all aspects of nuclear power, whether they be political,
military, or economic. The nuclear interdependence described
in the networks of the previous section must be examined in a
broad framework to account for its various ancillary character-
For example, the acquisition of a nuclear reactor by a
developing country may compel a response on several different
levels; uranium suppliers may compete to provide the country
with raw materials; technology suppliers may try to sell more
advanced facilities; neighboring countries may react to this
potential power imbalance by entering the nuclear market; and
the world community may impose political or economic sanctions
to try to reduce the danger of terrorists acquiring the new
source of nuclear blackmail. Each event serves as a signal
to the other world powers that a political or economic
"threshold" may have been crossed.
This threshold can be detected in the reaction of other
powers to a nuclear event. The reaction may appear as a
press comment, public statement, or official denouncement of
the nuclear event, or an expected reaction may be suppressed.
A ready source of data about this reaction can be found by
studying the nuclear networks that are tied to each other
economically, militarily, and politically.
1 . A Paradigm is Needed
Because nuclear related events trigger responses over
a wide range of issues, they permit the analyst to observe
the various courses of national foreign policies in action.
Therefore, as one observes how nations interact in response
to nuclear events, patterns of diplomacy and interaction are
revealed, and these patterns increase one's knowledge about
contemporary international relations. What is needed then
is a paradigm that will systematize the study of nuclear
A useful paradigm for studying the reactions and inter-
actions to a nuclear event might best be designed as a series
of maps, each map representing a different nuclear network.
One map might show countries with marketable nuclear reactor
technology; a second map would show the members of formal and
informal nonproliferation agreements; a third map might show
regional military balances of power; and so forth until all
the possible interaction networks are depicted by maps. The
maps would be used alternately as templates or overlays to
show event initiation or response paths. Once the network
of interaction is established, changes could be detected by
looking for responses within each network. For example, when
a country like Brazil signs a nuclear reactor technology
transfer agreement with West Germany, the maps would enable
the analyst to predict several different reactions. A map of
regional power states would help direct the analysis to the
more obvious responses. However, to search for reactions to
the nuclear event, "Brazil gets a nuclear reactor," beyond
the obvious places requires a directive pattern.
The analyst would conduct a "textscan" survey using
the key variables that distinguish each network, e.g.,
"nuclear reactor sales" for one of the economic networks.
However, if this paradigm is to have value as a useful
predictive tool, the various maps must be related to each
other in a visible, as well as theoretical, sense. A nuclear
event in one sphere might then provide the kind of informa-
tion that will help the analyst predict a "spillover" or
"burnthrough" effect for a second or third sphere.
2 . Five-Step Methodology
In a practical sense, the analyst would direct his
scan toward probable ancillary reactions in networks other
than the one where the original event occurred. A five-step
methodology might be incorporated by the analyst to predict
the likely consequences of a nuclear event. Continuing with
the example of Brazil, the first step would involve a regional
scan conducted in the newspapers of Brazil's Latin American
neighbors for signs of military or economic repercussions
caused by the event. Next, there should be a worldwide scan
of the newspapers of the nations that are signatories of non-
proliferation agreements. If the analyst's attention had
been focused on these agreements, he might have been able to
predict the strong U.S. opposition to the Brazil reactor deal
because the Carter Administration has made nonproliferation
a major item of American foreign policy. Furthermore, the
analyst might expect that any political pressure used by the
U.S. to try to dissuade the West Germans from completing the
deal would have an impact on the French sale of a similar
reactor to Pakistan.
The third area of scan would be a survey of worldwide
economic reaction. Here the analyst might detect a renewed
effort by the major nuclear reactor exporters in the U.S.,
Westinghouse and General Electric, to apply pressure on the
President and Congress to lift the ban on fast breeder reactor
technology. This action would enable the American firms to
reenter the overseas sales markets that are now being served
by the European competition.
The fourth area to be scanned concerns energy depend-
ency. Here the analyst might consider the ability of Brazil
to act independent of oil politics as its nuclear generating
power capabity increases. A correlation between nuclear
energy production capacity and foreign policy might be con-
structed which would reveal Brazil's dependency on oil
decreasing in direct proportion to nuclear power production.
But an additional concern for the analyst would be the new
relationships which would begin to form as Brazil increased
its dependency on the nations which supply uranium ore and
reprocessed spent fuel, the nations which transport the
radioactive components of the fuel cycle, train the operators
and scientists of the Brazilian nuclear industry, and in
general, become the new partners of a nuclear-related alliance
The final step of the five step methodology used to
direct the scan of the analysis is a general content examina-
tion of public statements about the particular event. This
last sweep through the press should provide the analyst with
additional areas for research, areas which in a traditional
framework would not be considered relevant to the analysis
of the isolated event, "Brazil gets a nuclear reactor." The
ability of this analytical approach, and particularly of this
step, to monitor changes in international relations will
depend on the analyst's disciplined attempt to account for
the far-reaching and subtle effects of nuclear-related events.
If such procedures as have been suggested are employed, a
broad conceptual framework for the study of nuclear events
can contribute to the discovery of a wide range of foreign
policy issues and patterns of interaction in international
To illustrate the ability of a nuclear power per-
spective to detect trends or changes in international re-
lations, this thesis will turn its focus to the European
continent. The European continent was chosen to illustrate
the analytical technique of the nuclear perspective because
the nations of Europe exhibit a diversity of political
issues as well as various stages of economic and industrial
development. Furthermore, the relationships that have de-
veloped between Eastern and Western Europe clearly reflect
new trends in international cooperation and conflict which
are evolving in the current age of detente. Whereas the
European continent will be used to show how the use of a
nuclear perspective is a valuable analytical tool, the same
analysis could be used for any other continent to produce
a similar continental perspective.
II . THE CONTINENTAL PERSPECTIVE
A. THE NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY: A FORCE FOR THE FISSION OR
THE FUSION OF EUROPEAN RELATIONS
A recent change in international relations has been
described as "The Scarcity Society" by William Ophus writing
in the book, ' The Silent Bomb' A guide to the Nuclear Energy
Controversy . He observed that a major event in 1973 triggered
Historians may see 1973 as a year dividing one age
from another. The Shah of Iran raised the price of
his oil by 100%. He accompanied his announcement
with a blunt warning to the industrial nations that
the cheap and abundant energy 'party' was over.
From now on, the resource on which our whole civili-
zation depends would be scarce, and the affluent
world would have to live with this f act . L133 : 266 J
The effect of this epoch-making announcement was to send
the industrial nations of the world into a strange new behavior
pattern. Each nation began to exert all the political and
economic power at its disposal to acquire and hoard all po-
tential energy supplies. Soon, however, the shock subsided
and the world engaged in the avid search for solutions . All
nations began to cooperate with one another to combine
resources and technology in concerted attempts to acquire
the energy reserves each felt unable to achieve by itself.
This became particularly true for the less resource-endowed
industrial nations of Eastern and Western Europe. When the
dust had settled from all this frantic reshuffling, a new
economic order had begun to emerge to deal with "the Scarcity
B . . ,,[133:266]
Society. L J
The search for new sources of energy continues today.
Failure to discover a safe, inexpensive energy panacea has
led the search back to former solutions like nuclear reactors
to generate electricity. The nuclear energy option for wide-
spread use had been tabled in the late 1960 's for several
reasons. It was associated with the dangers present in the
current bipolar strategic arms race and the atomic stockpiles
that resulted. Nuclear reactors were expensive, impractical,
and became the target of alarmist campaigns during the wave of
environmental protectionism that characterized the early 70' s.
In countries like Japan, nuclear power was considered repre-
hensible. It took the oil crisis to reorient that country's
national priorities to include nuclear power as a viable
alternative to oil.
The U.S. was in many ways hurt worst by the oil dilemma.
The impact of oil shortages was felt not only because of the
tremendous American industrial dependence on oil but also
because the average citizen found his livelihood threatened
when transporation by automobile became expensive. This had
the effect of turning the original popular support for en-
vironmental programs into outright opposition. At the federal
government level, the political constraints caused by oil
diplomacy found that U.S. official endorsement for the
Israeli foreign policy was anathema to Arab oil interests.
Thus the U.S. was one of the first nations to reconsider the
nuclear energy option and to weigh its advantages in light
of abundant U.S. uranium supplies and reactor technology.
U.S. leadership in reopening the nuclear question led
to profound advances in techniques for producing electricity
from uranium fuel. Soon, "closet case" atomic researchers,
technology engineers, and uranium suppliers and processors
emerged from the shadows to enter the international arena.
The oil cartelization legacy was inherited by a new "Uranium
Til ^ • 1 fifi 1
Cartel" 1 * J which helped to transform international
relations in an orderly attempt to exploit the economic ad-
vantages of nuclear energy. The transformation of interna-
tional relations on a global scale was touched upon earlier
in Chapter I of this discussion. However, the international
changes brought about by the trend towards a nuclear based
energy economy only describe the tip of the iceberg of world-
wide international cooperation and competition over nuclear
This chapter focuses the problem of nuclear power rela-
tions on the European continent. The initial reaction to
the Shah's announcement in Europe, according to Ophus, was
"to reduce once proud nation states to behavior that managed,
as one observed put it, to combine the characteristics of an
ostrich and a flock of hens." L : J Soon however, this
concentration of highly industrial European nations combined
their forces and resources into a coalition of commercial
enterprise which exists for reasons beyond the cause of
simply achieving energy sufficiency. The effect of these
European nuclear consortiums has been to transform the
independent European nation-states into new, influential
supranational economic and political entities.
The forces present in this new European economic environ-
ment foster both cooperation and competition among the
Western European partners. Meanwhile, Eastern Europeans are
watching with not only a shared interest in energy independence
but also with an interest in economic expansion. Thus the
issue of nuclear power generation as well as the newer
prospects of commercially exploiting nuclear reactor technol-
ogy as demonstrated by the Western Europeans is of great
interest to the watchful East Europeans.
In some cases the force that binds the West European
nations together has grown to include the East European
nations as well. This new socioeconomic relationship, promoted
by the combined East-West European desire to develop new energy
sources free of political constraints, fosters a trend toward
a "Pan-European" economic union. Whether or not this trend
can survive about the din of politics and superpower inter-
vention is a question beyond the scope of this thesis. However,
the effect of a successful West European power industry may
provide the light that attracts the moth, the force that brings
East Europeans out of the Soviet economic and political sphere
of influence into a new Pan-European economy. Furthermore,
nuclear power has already provided some West European countries
with a measure of independence and self-sufficiency that exists
apart from U.S. domination. The following sections in this
chapter will explore the rise of the nuclear power industry
in Europe to determine the extent it has accelerated the
emergence of a new European economic order. Finally, an
argument will be presented that the ability of Europeans
to stand alone will depend on their ability to stand together.
and the nuclear power adventure is the first real Pan-European
experiment. The success of this venture will depend on the
nuclear power industry: a force of fusion or fission in
B. EVALUATING THE NUCLEAR ENERGY OPTION FOR WESTERN EUROPE
Western Europeans are considering several energy alterna-
tives which they hope will enable them to overcome the im-
pending oil shortage crisis. Mr. Guido Brunner, the energy
commissioner of the European Economic Community (EC) , argues
that a community heavily dependent on imported energy (5 8% in
1976) cannot ignore any new energy sources. He predicts that
new non-nuclear sources, such as solar and geothermal power,
will account for no more than five per cent of Europe's total
[122 • 491 . • . .
energy supply by the year 2000. J It is his opinion,
then, that nuclear power must be given priority in Western
Europe's energy future.
Several European ministers attending the International
Energy Agency meeting held in October 19 77 in Paris confirmed
the predictions of the priority of nuclear power. Though the
final communique of the meeting favored the curtailment of
nuclear power, a number of countries disassociated themselves
from this communique showing that most member countries re-
garded further development of nuclear power as essential for
meeting their energy needs in the eighties. A majority of
ministers committed themselves to steady expansion of nuclear
generating capacities as the main and indispensable element
in attaining group objectives of continued economic growth
and lower unemployment. -*
1. The European Community (EC)
The EC has long been convinced that Europe needs a
big nuclear program. The community's nine member countries
now import 80% of their uranium supplies. By the year 2000,
the EC will account for one-third of total world demand for
uranium. Last year nuclear power provided only 2.1% of the
EC's energy needs, but the EC Commission expects the share
to rise to ten percent in 1985 and 20-25 percent in the year
2000.'- 1 J The EC, therefore, has backed the development
of the controversial fast breeder reactors and reprocessing
plants which produce more reusable fuel than they consume.
The Commission hopes to rely on the new fast breeder repro-
cessing technology to cut Europe's dependence on foreign
sources of uranium and oil. According to a Ford Foundation
study entitled Nuclear Power Issues and Choices:
Approximately 90% of the world's present and
planned nuclear generating capacity requires
slightly enriched uranium as fuel . The
questions of assurance of enrichment services
will thus be critical for virtually all
nations with a substantial commitment to
nuclear power. The major exception to this
is Canada, whose reactors use natural uranium.
In the past, the United States has provided
such services for all countries outside of the
Communist world, using enrichment plants built
in connection with its weapons program. The
Soviet Union provides similar services for its
reactors and those in Eastern Europe, and has
contracted to provide some enrichment for
Western European countries . [161 : 36 5]
The drastic reduction of nuclear power development in
the United States, a consequence of President Carter's campaign
to half the proliferation of the weapons grade plutonium
produced by the fast breeder reactors, has caused the Europeans
to accelerate their own development of a nuclear fuel produc-
tion industry. According to a Rand report, Europe's Changing
Energy Relations , prepared for the Office of the Secretary of
Defense, "By the early 19 80* s, Western European uranium enrich-
ment capacities will furnish most enrichment services for
European reactors, ending Europe's nearly complete dependence
on the United States and--in the late 1970 's at least — heavy
dependence on the USSR. " '- 117 : V111 -l
For OECD-Europe as a whole, nuclear power is going to
be, by current expectations, the most rapidly expanding source
F* i n *7 "2 "7 ~\
during the decade ahead. * J Table I shows the projected
growth of nuclear power in six Western European countries and
the United States.
ESTIMATED NUCLEAR POWER GROWTH, WESTERN
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND UNITED STATES
(In billion watts, GW)
SOURCE: OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic
Energy Agency, Uranium: Resources, Production, and
Demand , OECd", Paris, 1976. Estimated as of spring 1975
One of the EC's most glaring failures has been its
inability to develop a common energy policy to deal with the
coming nuclear energy decade. Despite endless declarations,
the Community is little nearer to agreement now than when the
oil crisis broke in 1973. J But one must remember that
neither OECD-Europe nor the European Community is a unit with
uniform conditions and policies. In particular, energy
structures of the individual countries vary, and are subject
to different national policy orientations. Thus, in order to
understand Western Europe's nuclear energy policies, it is
necessary to examine the nuclear policies of the individual
states. Through such an examination one notes that elements
of cooperation and conflict operate within as well as between
these national policies.
The nuclear industries of the West were built with an
eye on a lucrative new export market for complete nuclear
power stations. That is how it developed in the 1960 's with
two American firms, Westinghouse and General Electric dominat-
ing sales. L 4 8 : 100 J since then f the mid-1970 's recession has
sent Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Sweden into
the development of full-fledged nuclear industries. Table II
shows France projected to lead the other West European
countries in uranium production capacities through 19 85.
The reason France has outdistanced its Western European
neighbors in the nuclear power industry is best understood by
examining the way France exercises its nuclear option.
URANIUM PRODUCTION CAPACITIES AND WORLD URANIUM
REQUIREMENTS, 1974 THROUGH 1985
(In Thousand Tons Uranium/ Year)
Spain and Portugal
Other Western Europe
Gabon and Niger
Free World uranium
SOURCE: OECD Nuclear Energy Agency and International Atomic
Energy Agency, Uranium: Resources, Production, and
Demand, OECD, Paris, 1976, pp. 25 and 32.
2 . France
France's nuclear program dates from the days of the
Fourth Republic and was enthusiastically embraced by DeGaulle
as part of his desire to develop an independent atomic strike
force. The program accelerated in 1974 after the rise in the
world oil price, as illustrated in Table III. Officials en-
visioned the installation of nuclear plants that would cover
fH7 • 48]
about 20% of France's energy needs by 19 85.
FRENCH ENERGY CONSUMPTION, 19 74 AND
19 75 ACTUAL AND 19 8 5 PROJECTIONS
(In Million Tons Oil Equivalent)
Projections for 1985
Source of Energy
SOURCE: Rapport de la Commission de l'energie du VII plan ,
Paris, 26 March 1976, pp. 5 and 30.
The overall French program has since been scaled down
due more to the pressures from the growing antinuclear movement
throughout Western Europe than to a lessening of the French
government's commitment to nuclear energy. Supporting this
conclusion is the fact, reported in The Economist, that:
France sent more delegates to the May 77 Inter-
national Atomic Energy Agency (the UN spin-off)
conference in Salzburg than any other country.
More in fact, than the United States and Russia
put together. The large size of the French
contingent reflects its bullishness on nuclear
A key element in the government's program has been
breeder reactors. Their attraction is twofold. By producing
more fuel than they consume, the breeders, at least theoreti-
cally, would cut down dependence on uranium imports, and
officials expect to use France's lead in the field to carve
out a lucrative slice of the overseas market.
The export earnings from nuclear technology were
supposed to defray the mounting costs of petroleum imports.
Three years ago, the French began to push the sale of
reactors in the Middle East, Pakistan and South Korea. The
French government has been unwilling, so far, to forego
export opportunities for its powerfully organized nuclear
industries. In fact, the government, especially the semi-
autonomous Atomic Energy Commission, played an active role in
initiating several of the export deals.
The engineering f irm, Framatome , now principally owned
by the government's Atomic Energy Commission and largely purged
of its connection with Westinghouse , also occupies a prominent
position. Together with Alsthom and the Compagnie Electro-
Mecanique, it forms the French industrial group that goes out
for export orders. These French industrial groups have
cooperated with other Western European industrial groups in
some areas, e.g., the development and export planning for fast
a u [117:76]
breeder reactors .
Framatome currently has the capability to produce
seven or eight Nuclear Steam Supply Systems (NSSS) per year.
The domestic market will probably absorb five per year, so
Framatome is trying to sell two or three NSSS ' s per year to
- _ • [81:793]
foreign countries .
European correspondent Fernand Auberjonois reported
that France's energy situation calls for the most ambitious
nuclear power program in the West. She depends on imports
for 75% of her energy needs. The search for offshore oil in
territorial waters has not been rewarding, so far, and
France's coal deposits are much smaller than West Germany's
or Britain's. Her natural gas reserves in the southwest, now
fully tapped, are expected to start running down in about six
years . L J
The decision to go nuclear on a very large scale was
made shortly after the fourfold increase in oil prices in 1973.
The government adopted an ambitious program calling for the
construction of 50 nuclear power stations of 1,000 megawatts
each by 1935.
According to Auberjonois, the opposition to the govern-
ment's accelerated program emphasizes the safety factor far
less than another problem which the public fears more:
"giantism and overemphasis. France has moved too far from
the rural to the industrial age, and this fairly recently.
The people have not accepted the change. Hence the protest.
And the nuclear power plants have become a symbol of giantism. " ^
Nevertheless, the French Government has withstood the
onslaught of the opponents of nuclear energy better than most
other Western European governments. To deal with domestic
opposition, the government has tactfully avoided the debates
and instead played up the economic benefits to the industrial
sector. A day before a rally against a proposed reactor site
in Creys-Malville , President Valery Giscard d'Estaing chose to
visit a nearby uranium-enrichment plant to assert his commit-
ment to nuclear programs. In the aftermath of the violence,
officials sought to inject an element of nationalism in the
debate by pointing out that some of the protesters were West
Germans . L J
3 . West Germany
Indeed the most dramatic demonstration of the pressure
from opponents of nuclear energy has taken place in West
Germany — one of the Western European nations with the most
advanced programs. Twenty-two years after West Germany first
gained access to atomic power, the government is involved in
bitter debate with industry and environmental groups over the
future of nuclear energy in this densely populated industrial
country. Despite widespread public resistance, Chancellor
Helmut Schmidt's government says it is determined "to keep open
the nuclear option," including the possibility of plutonium-
« i -a c 4. u a f20:ll]
fueled fast breeders.
West Germany is in a different position than France
because the Germans have no uranium of their own and are
therefore totally dependent on imports. Consequently, the
West Germans have felt the need to pursue the breeder technol-
ogy to gain independence in the face of possible energy
. . [20:11]
shortages . L
In West Germany, the Kraftwerk Union (Kwu) , a joint
affliate of Siemens and AEG-Telefunken is the centerpiece of
the nuclear equipment industry and the principal promoter of
exports. German critics have charged the Bonn government with
looking the other way while nuclear industrialists, subsidized
with large government research and exploration funds, prepare
export deals that may assist weapon proliferation. -■
In 1975 West Germany contracted to sell Brazil a
uranium enrichment plant and a nuclear fuel reprocessing
facility, both of which could be used to produce materials for
atomic weapons. American reaction to this proposed deal put
pressure on the West Germans to cancel on the grounds that in
the rush for markets the security implications may have been
swept aside. Meanwhile, the Germans are withholding final
approval for the export of the "sensitive technology" part of
the Brazilian deal.
4 . Sweden
Sweden originally shared the French and German commit-
ment to the nuclear option. In the late 1960 's, the Social-
Democratic government decided to build 11 nuclear power plants
(capacity of about 6000 MW by 1982) . During the oil crisis,
it raised its sights to 24 plants by 1990, with construction
F 11 7 • 4 9 1
of the 13 additional plants due to begin in the 19 80' s. L
3y 19 75, Sweden had five nuclear plants in operation,
with a combined capacity of about 3200 MW, and one plant about
ready to start. Then came the elections of September 1976.
Environmental opposition to Sweden's nuclear program was believed
to have played a key role in turning out the Social Democrats,
who had been in power since 1932. The Center party that had
campaigned for stopping all nuclear electricity generation in
Sweden on environmental grounds also lost votes, but in coalition
with the Liberals and Conservatives, both supporters of the
previous government's nuclear program, the Center was able to
lead the new government. The coalition apparently compromised
by continuing the operation of the five existing plants and
starting up the sixth, but delaying the activation of two
others from 1977 to 1978. This compromise also stopped con-
struction of the three remaining plants until a review by a
royal commission (and possibly a referendum) confirms the
program . L J
5 . Italy
In contrast to France, Germany and Sweden, Italy has
not yet really initiated its ambitious nuclear energy program.
Obstacles have hampered it from the start, so the programmed
capacity is unlikely to be approached by 1985. This program,
calling for more than twenty reactors in operation by 1985
appears to be endangered primarily by soaring costs and the
near-paralysis brought on by the internal political crisis.
6 . Spain
Spain already has three nuclear power plants in opera-
tion, one built by a French consortium, another by General
Electric and a third by Westinghouse . Westinghouse is now
working on six reactors on three sites, staggered for comple-
tion within periods of six months. General Electric has three
reactors on two sites under way."- - 1 Meanwhile, the Spanish
government is concerned about the implications of President
Carter's new restrictive nuclear policy to ban the use of
Plutonium in nuclear reactors. Spanish officials want to know
what restrictions, controls, and new costs will be involved for
their American-built reactors.
Spain buys its uranium in Niger, Canada, and South
Africa and has it sent to the United States to be enriched for
use in power reactors. The used fuel rods, which contain
Plutonium, are sent to Britain for reprocessing.
7 . Britain
Britain, a pioneer in nuclear power generation, had
14 power plants in operation by the end of 1974. In the
Britain of 1977, the lobby pressing for the fast breeder
program, headed by the Atomic Energy Authority has been called
"an extremely powerful one, amounting to a military-industrial
("141 • 92l
complex in itself." 1 J
But Britain's relatively low-key nuclear electricity
program is suffering from continued troubles with reactor
design. The government's commitment to several British
designs, including the steam-generating heavy water reactor,
has been strongly challenged on economic grounds by the Atomic
r f> 4 • fi 7 1
Energy Authority. In September 19 76, moreover, a royal
commission on environmental pollution startled the public with
a report urging postponement of all further expansion of
nuclear energy in Britain until its environmental and other
[117 • 52]
effects had been thoroughly studied .
8 . The Netherlands
In the Netherlands, opinion polls indicate that more
than half the Dutch have doubts about nuclear energy. The
government has run into opposition to plans for the construc-
tion of three new atomic plants and the burial of nuclear
wastes . L J
Both for financial reasons and for domestic political
considerations, the Dutch government has sought to carry out
its breeder reactor plans as part of a joint program involving
France, Belgium, Italy and West Germany. The extent to which
Western European countries have had to pool their efforts to
reverse the downward trend faced by troubled nuclear energy
programs will be discussed in the next chapter. It should be
clear, however, that the decision to choose the nuclear option
in Western European capitals, has been a force of both fusion
and fission in domestic-European relations.
C. WESTERN EUROPE COOPERATES TO GENERATE
The nuclear power industries in Western Europe have combined
forces and resources to overcome the recent slump in domestic
nuclear power production and export sales. Nuclear power in
Europe entails its own import dependencies, however. Except
France, no Western European country has so far found and
developed uranium deposits on its own territory adequate for
fueling a significant number of reactors; and so far none is
capable of providing uranium enrichment services for the fuel
^ • ., • 4. *.■ [117:38]
supply of civilian power stations .
Naturally then, the industrial nations of Western Europe,
along with Japan and the Soviet Union, have been united
recently by their hostility to the Carter plans for a new
agreement that would virtually ban the manufacture, use or
sale of plutonium and the equipment that produces it.'- -^
The West European countries realize, however, that success-
ful development of the plutonium-burning fast breeder reactor
is their principal hope of obtaining adequate energy supplies.
Sharing this interest, they agree that Carter's attempt to ban
plutonium is unrealistic for countries with small energy
Underlining the Europeans' determination to continue with
the breeder, France, West Germany and three other Common Market
countries have pooled resources for research, development,
licensing and construction of liquid-sodium-cooled fast breeder
reactors. The industrial cooperation agreements followed
statements by French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing that
the fast breeder was an "indispensable part of France's
energy program."'- * ■" The industrial cooperation agreements
are accompanied by other inter-European accords to formalize
the relationships that are developing in the joint pursuit of
energy independence through nuclear technology.
Under the European accords, France and West Germany will
be shareholders in a joint company called Serena that will
hold license to all fast breeder know-how developed by the
two sides separately or together. The French breeder engineer-
ing firm Novatome and a West German-Belgian-Dutch breeder
builder will pay licensing fees going back to France's
Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) , the leader in develop-
ing fast breeder technology, during the first years of breeder
commercialization. Belgium and the Netherlands have a share
in Serena on the German side, while Italian participation—now
limited to licensing agreements with CEA--is likely to be
T40 • 12 1
formalized in the near future. J
Supplementing the industrial side of breeder cooperation
is a Franco-German research and development cooperation agree-
ment that links German's Inter-atom and Karlsruhe Research
Center on one side with CEA on the other. This program will
cost around one billion francs ($200m) a year for the next few
years shared by the two sides. - 1 The agreement grew out
of negotiations last year when the French and West German
governments decided to combine forces in a $170-million
research effort. " ^ Through these agreements France and
Germany made clear their commitment to the rapid commercial
development of fast-breeder reactors, and the widespread use
of plutonium as a fuel.
Both sides consider the possibility of joint exports to
be one of the main incentives behind the agreement, although
each side will technically be free to embark on export deals
alone. 0:1 -' For example, both France and Germany have
recently signed nuclear export contracts with Iran. The
French contract is worth up to $3 billion dollars for two
900-megawatt nuclear power plants and a ten year supply of
enriched uranium fuel. At the same time, a West German
company is building Iran's first two nuclear power plants of
1200 megawatts each. They are expected to be in operation
two years before the French-built plants are commissioned,
one by the end of 1983 and the other in 1984 . '- 53 : 5 ■■
The possibility of other countries taking licenses under
the French-German agreements has not been ruled out. Other
existing accords create a company, including French, West
German, Dutch, Belgian and Italian interests, to market
One argument made in favor of such cooperative ventures
stresses that Western Europe holds a technological lead over
the United States. Officials say the Americans will probably
come around to accepting the inevitability of breeders, and
Europe should be prepared to meet its needs and seize a share
of the export market. J Thus Western European nuclear
cooperative production efforts are not likely to back down in
the fact of American diplomatic pressure for nonproliferation .
In spite of fears concerning the effects of Carter's
proposed plutonium restrictions, the Western European govern-
ments still support the U.S. -led drive to curb the spread of
nuclear weapons inherent in breeder reactors exports. They
stress, however, that new restrictions should be "negotiated
internationally and take into account commercial considera-
tions. 10 2:16 J Last year the International Atomic Energy
Agency, based in Vienna, (I.A.E.A.) completed a two year study
of multi-national recycling centers as a way to achieve
greater economy and minimize proliferation. Such centers
would, it has concluded, be most economical if they handled
fuel from plants generating 30,000 megawatts. That is almost
half the total production of all nuclear plants in the world.
The proposed centers would be set up on a pay-as-you-go basis
by private industry under international supervision. The
report noted that if such an international approach were to
replace the current trend toward national recycling centers,
then early political action would be necessary. : ^
The proposed multi-national recycling center failed to
materialize. It seems apparent that cross-national cooperation
for nuclear power production has not progressed beyond the
commercial agreements which exist between the separate national
industries. Prospects for formal political agreements between
these nations are currently unfavorable in light of the un-
willingness of most governments to subjugate their individual
economic interests and national sovereignty to an international
A typical example of the unwillingness of Western European
countries to submit to international control involves France's
opposition to two EC nuclear deals. One concerns the site for
the Jet (Joint European Torus) , a big experimental device which
would be one step on the road to fusion energy. The other
concerns nuclear safeguards to be applied by the Euratom
T 5 9 • 32 1
countries (the same Nine as the EC states .r
The dispute over the Jet site has been going on for over
a year. Everyone agrees that fusion could well provide the
cheap, inexhaustible energy supplies of the future. But they
disagree totally on where to put the device. An independent
committee recommended Ispra in Italy. Germany, however, wants
Garching near Munich, and Britain is pushing its site at
Culham. Eventually all seemed willing to accept a majority
verdict on the site except the French, who insisted on their
own research center at Cadarache. When pressed for an alter-
native, they suggested the Cern laboratories near Geneva, not
even in the community. Jet may now be dead as a community
project. L J
French resistance has also upset efforts by Euratom to
regulate its relationship with the International Atomic Energy
Agency. The I. A. E. A., the watchdog of the nuclear Non-Proliferation
f 191 • 5 8 1
Treaty (NPT) , L J sends inspectors to countries which have
ratified the pact to make sure no one is making a bomb. But
France, which has not signed the NPT, turned the regulation
down, worried, it appears, about having the NPT procedures
imposed on it by the back door.
Cooperative efforts by Western European nuclear power in-
dustries have deteriorated under several pressures: political
bickering, national jealousies, economic selfishness, diplo-
matic restraints from the U.S., and a rising international
group of outspoken environmentalists. This is in sharp
contrast to the nuclear energy policies of Eastern Europe.
Paul Hoffman reported in a New York Times article about Soviet
plans for a plutonium-based economy. He reported that the
Soviet Union and allied countries expected to see fast breeders
supplying 50% of their nuclear power engineering requirements
by the year 2000. * ^ Furthermore, according to Hoffman,
instead of the environmental dissension which has plagued the
West, "the scientific, technical and economic planners of
Eastern Europe are convinced that nuclear power plants
'contribute to the environmental improvement, 1 and appear to
have no misgivings about the use of plutonium as a nuclear
fuelJ 74 ^
The East's commitment to fast breeder reprocessing technol-
ogy has suddenly become significant to Western Europe. While
We tern nuclear reactor programs stall over the plutonium
issue and the U.S. and Canada have imposed an embargo on
uranium in support of Carter's fast breeder technology boycott,
the Soviets have become the single most important source of
uranium enrichment services for the European Community as a
whole. According to EURATOM data of 1976 as reported in the
Rand paper, Europe's Changing Energy Relations , the Soviets
will supply more than half in 1977, and more than two-fifths
in the two following years, before Western Europe's own
supplies take up the slack of rapidly diminishing U.S. supplies,
as Table IV showsJ 117:45 ^
SUPPLY OF URANIUM ENRICHMENT UNDER CONTRACT
TO USERS IN EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
are of Sources
URENCO is a joint British, Dutch, West German organiza-
tion with plants in The Netherlands and the United Kingdom
EURODIF is a joint venture involving France (52%) , Italy,
Belgium, Spain, and Iran, which is building a gaseous
diffusion plant in France.
SOURCE: Rand Report R-20 86-15A. 1
European overtures to the Russians have been greeted with
tacit approval by the United States. Washington even permitted
shipments of American uranium to the Soviet Union for process-
ing into nuclear fuel destined for West German power plants. " J
Washington did not fear unauthorized procurement of this weapons
grade fuel because Soviet control over its nuclear industries
is effective. For example, all spent fuel for Soviet-supplied
reactors in Eastern Europe must be returned to the USSR.
American, Canadian and French controls of the fuel cycle in
their customer countries have never been so tight. " J
The net result of this interim fuel enrichment contract
with the Soviet Union is to shift Western European nuclear
power industries into a new dependency on the East. How long
this dependency lasts will depend on how quickly the European
Community can overcome the recent forces of dissension which
currently threaten their initial cooperative successes. It
is paradoxical that fast breeder reactors were endorsed by
Western European industrial nations as the economic means by
which they intended to wean themselves from an American de-
pendency; a process which resulted in Soviet dependency.
On the other hand, temporary cooperation with the nuclear
industries of the Soviet Union and its Eastern allies could
develop into new opportunities to revive the foundering
nuclear prospects in the West. For instance the current
program designed to expand the export capabilities of the
Western nuclear consortiums should reach fruition about the
same time dependency on Soviet enrichment ends. Since both
Eastern and Western European countries are seeking the same
independence from Superpower economic hegemony, a combined
cooperative effort in development of the nuclear option is
not only possible but probable.
This section has examined the successes and failures of
Western Europeans to combine their nuclear power policies
into corporate alliances to achieve both energy independence
and commercial success. The next section of this chapter
will examine the aspirations of the Eastern Europeans as they
elect the nuclear options and the political and economic
restraints which hinder their progress. The nuclear power
industry will then provide a "benchmark" to assess the forces
of fusion and fission in Eastern European relations.
D. PROSPECT FOR COOPERATION AS EASTERN EUROPE CHOOSES THE
Eastern Europe and Western Europe began putting increased
emphasis on the development of nuclear power at about the same
time. However, in East-Europe, this was not a result of the
Arab oil embargo as much as it was due to the approaching
depletion of oil fields in European Russia. Romania also,
for the first time, conceded that its oil fields were being
East Europeans look eastward towards the Soviet Union
for their energy needs including nuclear technology. In 1977,
Moscow announced that new nuclear power plants would be built
in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Hungary in addition to those
that are already operating or under construction. Poland and
Romania would also be equipped with their first atomic reactors
as part of this new emphasis on nuclear energy. Under the
present program, the Eastern bloc's share of nuclear produced
energy is projected to rise from three percent of all electric
energy to seven percent by 19 80. : ■■ Unlike the West, the
Eastern European nations have no powerful antinuclear lobbies
to contend with in making their plans for alternative energy
The nuclear power programs of the Soviet-bloc Council
for Mutual Economic Cooperation are now coordinated from a
central agency. This agency "Interatomenergo" is carefully
watched by xMoscow. In fact some Western analysts feel that
a major reason why the Soviets are keeping Czechoslovakia
under such close military and political control is its im-
r i "5 q i
portance as a prime source of uranium. " J
The political pressures that have stalled the recent
I.A.E.A. efforts to provide international control for their
shared nuclear resources and technology do not exist in the
East. For example, the East bloc has pooled its uranium
resources, consisting of mines in Czechoslovakia, Poland and
the Soviet Union. Some of the smaller East European countries
build components for the joint reactor projects. Czechoslovakia
furnishes high pressure vessels and Poland supplies steam
The apparent ability of the East Europeans to cooperate
to generate nuclear power is marred by the forces of national-
ism and economics. The national forces that plague the Soviet
bloc have always existed, but the economic forces are new.
For example, Paul Hoffman reported in another article entitled,
"East Bloc Puts Increasing Emphasis on Nuclear Power," that "the
smaller East European countries are under pressure to look for
the alternative energy sources — mainly nuclear plants — because
the Soviet Union clearly prefers to sell surplus oil and gas
to hard currency nations. "^ * ^ This search for nuclear
plants has caused the East Europeans to look to the export
motivated nuclear industries of the West.
2 . Romania
One East European country taking an active interest in
Western nuclear reactors — including the highly controversial
T 2 3 • 8 1
fast breeder type — is Romania. " J There are three reasons
why Romania should be the first to initiate this cross-bloc
request for nuclear technology. Under President Ceausescu,
Romania has launched an industrial program to make Romania an
economic leader in Eastern Europe by 1990. Secondly, Romania
became the first Comecon country to establish direct relations
with the EC in 1972. A third reason why Romania has led the
others in this search for Western nuclear reactors was pre-
sented by Malcolm Browne in his New York Times article,
"Rumanian Trade—Troubled Growth:"
Since Romania was granted most-favored-nation
trading status (partly because it was considered
to be allowing an acceptable number of Jews to
emigrate) , it has also been eligible to import
somewhat more American technology than the
Soviet Union. L 23: 8 J
Furthermore, a new long-term agreement was signed by
Romania and the U.S. in November of 1976 which provides for
closer cooperation in economic, scientific, technological
and industrial fields. * J
Perhaps the most significant example of Romanian
overtures towards economic cooperation with the West can be
seen in the negotiations on nuclear coooperation which took
place during 1977 between Canadian and Romanian officials.
An agreement was signed between the two governments calling
for "Cooperation in the Development and Application of Atomic
r 2 5 • 124 1
Energy Peaceful Purposes." 1 - " J The Canadian Department
of External Affairs has said that this nuclear-safeguard
agreement, signed October 24, 1977 in Ottawa, would lay the
foundation for other agreements that are expected to lead to
the purchase of Canadian nuclear technology and equipment by
The prospect of Romania acquiring nuclear technology
from Canada is significant to this thesis because it demon-
strates the ability of the nuclear power issue to reflect
current trends in international relations. For example, the
Canadian government has also reported that:
In addition to conducting the nuclear negotiations ,
Romanian Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade,
Constantin Stanciu, came to Ottawa in July for the
annual trade consultations between the two countries.
The Romanian Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Vasile Gliga, visited Canada in October for consul--,
tations on bilateral and multilateral issues . L 25 : 26 J
While some Eastern European countries are more active particr
pants in East-West dialogue than others, the implications of
the current cross-block negotiations can best be assessed from
an historical perspective.
3 . Roots of Dissension
The historical foundation for the current relationship
between Eastern Europe and the West starts with the rebuilding
of Europe after World War II. Eastern Europe was unique in
this process. Nations acquired new regimes and these regimes
have been the subject of ideological dialogue ever since.
Professor Steven Garrett, addressing a Naval Postgraduate
School seminar in Soviet-European Affairs, commented that
East Europe was looked upon as being the cause and symbol of
the Cold War. The original post-war policy used by the West
towards Eastern Europe was characterized by economic boycott,
c 4. • 
based on a rigid policy of containment.
The Cold War struggle was as much economic as it was
political. Two economically devastated areas were trying to
rebuild using different and competing economic ideologies on
opposite sides of the Iron Curtain. Steven Garrett has noted
that in Western capitals it was hoped that the aggressive,
expansionist actions by the Soviet Union would be hampered
in that the Soviets would be forced to divert a share of their
resources to help sustain Eastern Europe during the post-war
f on 3 1
rebuilding. J The political success of struggling
Communist government in East Europe was hampered by their
economic backwardness and the Western policy of economic non-
cooperation with the Eastern European Communist governments
which had been adopted as a weapon in the Cold War. The
ironic result of this policy has been to reinforce Eastern
European economic dependency on, and hence political affinity
with, the Soviet Union.
Professor Vernon Aspaturian has characterized world
politics during the Cold War as colonial in nature. Eastern
Europe, then, was the object of great power diplomacy rather
than an actor in it. J Today, however, a new policy is
emerging towards Eastern Europe as a result of three important
realizations. First, it was realized that an East-West boycott
was self-defeating because of the natural European propinquity
of markets and culture. Second, the use of the boycott as a
weapon was derived from the tight bipolar political mind set
which no longer applied.
The third realization by the West was that the world
was witnessing a revival in Eastern Europe of anti-Soviet
nationalism. This nationalism was producing new centrifugal
forces that were straining against the artificially imposed
economic dependency on the Soviets. General Sir Harry Tuzo
commented in a 1977 RUSI Journal that:
Strains among competing Marxist centres are
accompanied by increasing strains within
them. Today in Eastern Europe, for example,
we are observing the development of centrif-
ugal pressures which are a product, among
other things, of both suppressed nationalism
and rising and unrequited socio-economic
expectations. We cannot know in what way, ("171 -If!
if at all, these pressures will seek release.
It was felt that a revised Western economic policy of coopera-
tion towards Eastern Europe would encourage these governments
to decrease their economic ties to the Soviet Union. Thus,
new economic and diplomatic dialogues have resulted in new
commercial exterprises . For example, concerning EEC-
Yugoslavian relations, a top-level EEC delegation visited
Belgrade in December 1976 and signed a solemn declaration
with the Yugoslav government in which both sides promised to
T 8 2 • 5 3 1
"strengthen, deepen and diversify" their cooperation. 1 * J
An article in The Economist reported that "There is hardly
a Eurocrat in Brussels who does not want to help that plucky
Balkan country keep its independence from Russia when Tito
goes . L J
4 . Prospects for Change
Today the world is witnessing a growing trend towards
Eastern European self-sufficiency, both as a region and as
individual states. As this self-sufficiency increases in
direct proportion to increasing Western commercial participa-
tion in Eastern Europe, it permits greater freedom for Eastern
European governments to maneuver for future independence from
Russie. Furthermore, it tends to shift the focus of Eastern
European economic interests westward. An example of this
trend is Ceausescu's announcement in 19 70 that Romania was
prepared to enter into "joint-venture" arrangements with the
West, as explained by Malcolm Browne:
Romania, like a number of other Communist
countries, has been particularly interested
in developing "joint ventures" in which the
host country and a foreign investor jointly
operate a new corporation. They work out
details of profit repatriation, corporate
control, marketing patterns and so forth on
a case-by-case basis. [23:8]
Nuclear energy, more than any other commercial venture,
offers the greatest potential to achieve the goals of a liber-
al East-West economic policy. In the first place, nuclear
energy represents the single greatest commitment of technology,
resources , capital and environmental considerations in return
for the greatest potential to increase one's own industrial
base. Secondly, it promises to solve the acute problems of
energy dependency; the single most important factor that ties
the East Europeans to the Soviet Union. Thirdly, the acqui-
sition of nuclear technology promises to accelerate the trans-
formation of East European LDC ' s (lesser developed countries)
into major international actors, automatically making them
members of the international network of uranium suppliers and
As each Eastern European country achieves nuclear
power status it will attain greater prominence within inter-
national conferences such as the NPT and the Suppliers' Club.
A more active role within these organizations will further
benefit European economic development in two ways. First,
the new nuclear powers will be viewed as favored clients or
prospective customers to encourage them to become acculturated
into Western European economic and political institutions.
Aspaturian has observed that once Eastern Europeans become
involved, their participation has accelerated their involve-
, • 
ment in Western consciousness and economic policy.
The second advantage of participation in these inter-
national conferences is that they provide a forum in which to
voice individual nationally oriented foreign policies. The
NPT conference sessions, in particular, have recently provided
such a forum. In the past these conferences have been a token
arena dominated by the five nuclear weapon states. Today
however, outspoken independent policy statements give evidence
of the current revival of national consciousness in Eastern
Europe. For example, Yugoslavia led the opposition against
the inequities of the NPT treaty constraints when at the
Review Conference (held in Geneva in May 1977) the delegation
stated that Belgrade "would be reconsidering its attitude"
toward the treaty because of its imbalance in favor of the
nuclear powers. ' J This argument was continued in the
recent press coverage of Colonel General Ivan Kukoc, member
of the Executive Committee of the Yugoslavian League of
Communist Central Committee Presidium:
Yugoslavia is interested in the use of nuclear
energy for peaceful purposes. In this sense
we have been advising and are still advising
against any monopoly which member countries of
the so-called club of nuclear power are seeking
to establish. [193:127]
Colonel General Kukoc explicitly ties Yugoslavian
security concerns to the activities of the Suppliers' Club
and warns that the government will continue to resist efforts
[193 • 127]
by the nuclear states to establish a nuclear monopoly.
Whereas Eastern European countries pursue separate
economic policies, successful involvement with the West by
a few of these burgeoning nuclear power nations will encourage
other countries which are not dependent on the Soviet Union to
begin to maneuver on their own. Thus, East-West dialogue over
the nuclear power questions fosters the possibility of new
ideological cooperation at a time when political forces of
nationalism in the East combine with Eurocommunism in the
West to erode Soviet hegemony.
Building new bridges of trade and diplomacy in the
spirit of dentente has defined the present policy of trans-
European commercial relations. This new European economic
reapproachment should appeal both to Eastern and Western
Europeans for the following three reasons:
1. European industries are able to operate outside
the superpowers' spheres of influence.
2. East-West cooperation achieves economic independ-
ence from bipolar political constraints.
3. Trans-European cooperation insures that European
commercial interests will remain under European
Whereas present East-West European economic policies
have evolved from artificially imposed Cold War politics,
the future policies promise to reflect individual national
priorities. Many Eastern European countries seek to raise
their own technical competence through new ventures in
Western technology such as nuclear power. Eventually these
rapidly industrializing nations will be entering the lucrative
nuclear technology market as commercially viable producers.
Their goal will then be to transition as rapidly as possible
from consumer to supplier. Thus the nuclear age offers to
East Europeans as well as to West Europeans a means for
political self-expression and commercial enterprise.
Chances for East-West economic entrepreneurship ,
especially between the EC and the Comecon, never looked
better. The September 18, 1977, meeting in Brussels resumed
the long drawn out dialogue between the two European trading
blocs illustrating the principles of trans-European economic
af inity .
The eastern Comecon countries are not just hoping for
political benefits from closer ties with the EC, but are also
looking for concessions in their exports to the community.
These concessions include easier credit, the harmonization of
some quantitative restrictions and the adaptation of the
common agricultural policy to allow more East European farm
f 12 • 52 1
products into the EC. " J The Economist reports that:
Two thirds of Yugoslavia's exports to the
community are industrial goods, so high-
technology imports can be justified as
sharpening the countries' competitive edge
in Western markets. Yugoslavia already has
about 170 joint venture agreements and around
500 industrial co-operation agreements with
western firms, many of them in West Germany.
It is now changing its legislation to attract
more foreign investors . [12 : 52]
5 . European Detente
The current developments in trans-European economic
relationships evolved during the past thirty years from a
political process described by Gregory Flynn in an article
[47 • 401 1
for Qrbis as the "content of European detente." 1 - J This
description divides the evolution of European detente into
two stages: the 1969-1972 West German Qstpolitik followed by
a second period of East-West negotiations from 1972-1975
aimed at attaining :
"a mutually acceptable set of rules to govern
competitive but peaceful coexistence, and to
explore possibilities for reducing the role of
military confrontation in the East-West rela-
tionship. "L 47 • 4 i°T
Since 1975 a new era of East-West detente exists based
on economic goals rather than political goals. These economic
goals are shared by both East and West Europeans. One promi-
nent example of this new era of cross-bloc commercialism is
the rapidly expanding trans-European nuclear power industry.
The long standing obstacles that have postponed
progress towards diplomatic and socio-economic cooperation
between East and West Europeans are rapidly disappearing.
Hastening the reconciliation process is the mutual desire
to achieve energy sufficiency, economic independence and
commercial advantages inherent in a strong nuclear power in-
dustry. This section of this chapter has examined the forces
that brought East-West relations to the threshold of a trans-
European economic order. The next section will consider the
prospects of the nuclear power industry reaching Euro-continental
proportions. The major obstacle is the political forces
affecting East-West European relations in light of the binding
influence of nuclear power.
E. POLITICAL FORCES AFFECTING TRANS -EUROPEAN UNITY
There are two versions of Communism in Europe today. First
there is the familiar Marxist-Leninist Moscow-sponsored variety
and then there is a new kind which adapts the realpolitik
principals of the Western capitalists. The Moscow version
has failed to keep up with the national, economic and
political forces in both Eastern and Western Europe, and so
it has receded in the face of a more viable political alter-
native. The most recent form of Communism allows the forces
of nationalism and Western-style commercialism to exist in a
more tolerant and more realistic framework of government
than would be possible under Soviet Communism. Marxist-
Socialist radicalism which threatened to destroy the hard-
earned successes of capitalism has given way to a new willing-
ness to cooperate with Western democratic institutions to
achieve national benefits. The benefits of political health
through commercial wealth derived from a strong industrial
economy are now the expressed principles of the Communist
parties of Tito, Berlinguer, and Ceausescu.
Often the characteristics of the emerging Eurocommunist
parties are the "out-of-power versions" of their Eastern
cousins in power in Yugoslavia and Romania. The current
dialogue between these similar political entities has led to
increased cooperation between the Eastern Communists and the
non-Communist coalitions currently in control of the Western
governments. This cooperation is a result of the influence
and public support that the minority Western Communists
command, an influence illustrated by the fact that the
programs offered by the Italian Communists for the solutions
to Italy's economic dilemma are often acted upon by the
Christian Democrats. Furthermore, the Euro communists facilitate
communication between the West and the East. The result has
been a climate for East-West conciliation which exists sepa-
rate and apart from superpower influence.
The French and Italian Communist Parties have recently
exhibited their intentions to preserve rather than to replace
certain aspects of their national system in spite of the basic
tenants of Communist philosophy. For example, the Italian
Communists have stated that it is their intention to leave the
Ferrari plant in Turin out of their plan to nationalize the
industries , acknowledging that this exceptional product con-
tributes favorably to the national image and prestige of the
The French Communist Party under iMarchais has made similar
concessions to the existing French economic and political
structure. Marchais recently announced that the Communists
have decided to drop their opposition to the French nuclear
strike force, the "Force de Frappe," acknowledging that the
"Tous Azimuts" defense policy of omni-directional targeting is
the only true way to French military independence. Not only
do the French Communists voice strong views in favor of the
maintenance of an independent atomic military force, but they
also echo the government's arguments in favor of the nuclear
energy program. Through their labor federation, the Communists
have lashed out at opponents of nuclear energy as partisans
"of a return to the days of sailboat navies and oil lamps." L
The conclusion one might draw in examining the tendencies
exhibited thus far by these two Eurocommunist parties is that,
should they attain full control of their governments, the
changes that might be made would not directly threaten each
government's participation in the present nuclear power con-
sortium. One could also expect to see these governments
attentive to the same issues that motivate the more liberal
and progressive Communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Thus,
the encroaching specter of modern Communism, exemplified by
the Eurocommunists and certain Eastern European regimes, is
far less likely to disrupt the new European economic order
than would the Moscow version. How much and in what way the
European economy might be affected will be examined next.
The advent of Communist control in France and Italy would
have one of two possible effects on the trans-European inte-
gration of the nuclear power industry. On the one hand,
Communist governments in both East and West Europe would be
dealing without the ideological stigmas and political compe-
tition that impedes cross-blow cooperation today. This new
advantage could accelerate the forming of a European nuclear
power industry cartel. This could transform several minor
actors into a single new actor of economic and political
A second consideration is the systemic effect that a
superpotent trans-European nuclear power industry cartel
would have on the U.S., Soviet Union and Third World. What-
ever action is taken by the two superpowers to prevent nuclear
weapons proliferation will be minimal compared to the reaction
of the Third World. Most LDC's would again have to face the
realization that they may be trading "petro dependency" for
another type of energy dependence; a nuclear dependency on a
commercially united Europe. As long as individual East-West
European competition keeps the price of nuclear power export
and services down, the non-European countries will pay the
price. However, the forces opposing a trans-European
commercial advantage would lend support to political forces
in Europe trying to prevent this union.
Regardless of the advantages which future Communist govern-
ments may have to better integrate the economies of the separate
European states, there is one inescapable conclusion. The
enormous potential power of the nuclear power industry to
generate political, economic and social forces on the European
continent is significant. Therefore, one of the more useful
indicators of the developing relationships between Eastern
and Western Europeans is a study of the expansion of the
nuclear power industry.
F. CONCLUSION: NUCLEAR ENERGY DEVELOPMENT AS AN ANALYTICAL
Developing a nuclear power industry for Europeans by
Europeans, and in spite of Europeans has proven to be a
monumental undertaking. As this industry develops, it
contacts and interacts with the many forces that are used
to describe and define East-West and European relations.
The forces of nationalism, commercialism, diplomacy,
dependency, ecology and politics have all been identified as
providing both the allies and antagonists, proponents and
opponents, slaves and masters of the rapidly expanding
nuclear power industry.
Chapter II has examined European relationships in four
settings. First it looked within the major industrial states
of Western Europe. Next it compared the national programs
that were interrelated in Western European cooperative commer-
cial ventures. These programs were then examined for their
ability to cooperate within the context of the European
Community. Thirdly, the integrated nuclear industrial programs
that unite the participating nations of Eastern Europe were
explored in light of the growing commercial detente between
East and West. Finally, the political forces in Europe were
projected against the prospects for a trans-European nuclear
union to forecast the future of nuclear energy should the
Communist party come to power.
The broad conceptual framework of the nuclear perspective
has served to identify some of the major forces that surface
as each European nation exercises its nuclear options. These
forces affect the ability of the nuclear power industries to
thrive or to just barely survive and can be monitored in the
public debates and budget cuts that measure both public and
official opinions. The political analyst, observing the
expansion and contraction of the nuclear power industry as it
responds to the forces it attracts, will gain some insight
into these forces and how they affect European relations .
Thus the nuclear power industry becomes a measure of the fusion
and fission of inter-European relations.
Having identified the analytical role of nuclear power in
a global and continental context, this thesis is now ready to
turn its focus to the national perspective.
III. THE NATIONAL PERSPECTIVE: NUCLEAR ENERGY
AND FOREIGN POLICY
This chapter will explore the role of nuclear energy in
international relations from the national perspective.
Political analysts can gain insight into the motives behind
certain foreign policy decisions made by a nation by account-
ing for that country's nuclear power policies and goals.
Evidence will be presented to show that the nuclear power
questions that arise in the daily political life of a country
closely parallel that country's foreign policy debates. The
analytical technique introduced in Chapter I was used to study
the nuclear power policy and debates to determine international
trends of economic and political cooperation and conflict.
The national perspective which is about to be presented, will
show how a single nation can be examined for these same
elements of cooperation and conflict.
National elements of cooperation and conflict do not exist
because of the international cooperation and conflict generated
by nations seeking energy solutions on a global scale. Neither
do they exist because of trends toward economic cooperation on
a continental scale as seen in Chapter II. Instead, national
elements are derived from social, political, and economic
elements from within that national society. National elements
can be distinguished from the others, for the purpose of this
analysis, in their ability to identify that nation as unique
among all others. Therefore, a national perspective is necessary
in nuclear analysis so as not to overlook other elements of
cooperation and conflict that determine a nation's role in
The next chapter will introduce the technique of using
nuclear power analysis to help determine the current trends
of a nation's foreign policy. Before proceeding, however, it
will be beneficial to briefly summarize the steps covered
thus far in the research design and then to relate these
steps to the overall thesis objective, i.e., to examine the
analytical role of nuclear energy in contemporary interna-
Chapter I has described from a global perspective evidence
that new systemic effects are produced by a world reorienting
itself to a nuclear-dependent economy. These effects are
caused by a worldwide international infrastructure that exists
as a result of suppliers and consumers engaging in the trade
of uranium supplies and nuclear power technology.
Chapter II has presented an analysis of the nuclear power
industry's effect on European relations. Nuclear power has
acted as a source of conflict and cooperation between the
industrial nations of Europe. In particular, nuclear power
industries have influenced the trend towards Pan-European
The next logical step is to narrow the perspective of
nuclear power analysis to a single nation. The purpose of
this step is to determine to what extent nuclear power
reflects the major trends of a nation's foreign policy.
The analysis is thus refined by starting with the global
perspective (the influence of nuclear power worldwide) , re-
focusing this nuclear "power" perspective on a particular
continent, and then on one particular nation. In this way,
the ability of nuclear power analysis to predict foreign
policy will be brought into sharp focus. This nuclear-based
analytical framework allows the observer to assess a nuclear-
related event (as defined in Chapter I) for ancillary conse-
quences on continental, global, and national levels.
The modern French nation with its advanced nuclear power
industry will serve to illustrate the technique of nuclear
power analysis from the national perspective. The French
nuclear power export industry is especially useful as a clear
example of how one nation is adapting foreign policy to cope
with an emerging nuclear-based economic order.
An examination of French foreign policy vis-a-vis nuclear
policy will produce evidence to show that nuclear power exists
as an instrument of foreign policy in international relations.
This principle will be presented as follows: The French arms
trade as it existed in the past decade was used as a major
instrument of French foreign policy, enabling France to
maintain its political, economic, and military independence.
The French arms trade of the past decade will be compared to
the French nuclear power export industry as it exists today.
This comparison will be made by highlighting the similarities
and differences between "arms transfers" and "nuclear exports,"
in terms of policies, procedures, and objectives. The intent
of this comparison is to argue that the French have transformed
a highly diversified nuclear power export trade into a major
instrument of French foreign policy. Establishing this
parallel will enable the political analyst to relate the
current French nuclear policy to the role of French arms
transfer policies in the recent past.
The predictive ability of this comparative technique stems
from the use of historical parallels. For example, if the
question to be determined is whether or not France will
transfer controversial technology to a pariah state in the
future, the odds are they will. This prediction is based on
the fact that both French arms transfer policies and nuclear
power export policies have consistently shown this to be the
The question now arises, how close are nuclear power
policies and arms transfer policies to the mainstream of
French foreign policy? The following chapter will show that
the French have actually utilized both nuclear and arms
technology transfers as major instruments of French foreign
policy. Therefore, the use of nuclear power analysis is
indispensable to the French political analyst.
Nuclear power has received greater emphasis in France
than in any other industrialized country in Europe. France
exploded its first atom bomb in the Sahara on 13 February,
1960 and Charles de Gaulle announced that France was
T 19 1 • 5 3 1
"stronger and prouder since [that] morning. " L
De Gaulle sought to restore the position of France in inter-
national affairs by launching upon an independent course as
leader of the "Third World" of countries aligned neither with
the Western Allies nor the Soviet bloc. The development of
an "independent" French nuclear strike force gave evidence
of a French desire to remain independent of U.S. or Soviet
controlled defense pacts. France had become after 1965 the
world's third most important arms exporter. It was clear
that an aggressive arms transfer program was part of De Gaulle's
foreign policy to extend French influence into the Middle East
and Africa. When French arms sales showed signs of slackening
after more than a decade of success, the French turned to
their highly developed nuclear power industry for new sources
By 1975 nuclear power had become international. Thirty
countries, in addition to the five nuclear weapons states,
had nuclear power plants in operation, under construction, or
on order. " J Today there exists a highly competitive
international commerce in reactors, uranium (natural and
enriched) , and the various supporting equipment and services.
The principal suppliers in addition to France and the two
superpowers are West Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada,
a c 4.1, a^ • [161:6]
Japan, and South Africa.
The price of nuclear exports is staggering. The cost of
a standard-sized power plant in the U.S. for example, is
about a billion dollars. The world-wide reactor business
will involve several hundred billions of dollars in contracts
over the next two decades.
France has entered this market as the foremost promoter
I" 1 ic . g "I
of the controversial "fast breeder" reactor." J This
reactor produces more fuel than it consumes. Unfortunately,
the fuel can be used in atomic weapons . This characteristic
has made the fast breeder reactor a target of President
Carter's non-proliferation policy. Despite diplomatic
pressure, France continues to pursue an aggressive nuclear
export policy in a style strongly reminiscent of French arms
transfer policies of the previous decade. Is this pattern
purely coincidental or has France adapted its successful arms
marketing techniques to the nuclear export trade? This thesis
will investigate this question.
The next section of this chapter will describe the French
arms transfer policy of the past decade and the reasons for
the success and then its temporary recession. The reasons for
the dramatic shift in emphasis to nuclear power export
development will be explained in terms of the growing demand
for this new energy source in the Third World.
Section B will introduce the hypothesis that the parallel
patterns of the policies, procedures and events that occur in
both the French arms trade and the recent nuclear export
trade show that the French have superimposed their distinct
arms transfer style over the policies that govern and promote
the nuclear export program.
Section C will identify the major foreign policy goals
of the French government. These national objectives will be
compared to the major goals of the French nuclear power in-
dustry to illustrate the value of using a nuclear power-
oriented approach for a political analysis of France. Section
D will extend the nuclear-oriented analysis to contemporary
A. THE FRENCH RESPONSE TO DWINDLING ARMS SALES IS NUCLEAR
The ability of France to compete successfully in the
lucrative nuclear power generating export trade stems from
the French experience as a major arms supplier during the
60 's. This chapter will review that decade in the following
1. The reasons why the French were successful in the
2. Unique French sociopolitical advantages;
3. Why, despite these advantages, the French started to
lose their competitiveness in the arms trade.
The chapter will also present two explanations for the French
entering the nuclear power export market in the Third World.
The intent of this chapter is to show how the French arms
trading experience made it possible for the French to capi-
talize on the Third World's demand for nuclear technology.
1 . Reasons for Success
France enjoyed a profitable arms trade during the
60' s and early 70' s, relatively free from superpower competi-
tion. Harkarvy describes France during this period as "the
jackal state of the arms trade, banking on a commercial
policy to intrude into markets held previously by either of
the superpowers, and often becoming a preferred supplier for
nations not willing to tie themselves either to the American
or the Soviet orbits. J Thus, France was able to supply
arms competitively. There are several reasons for this
1. The US was engaged in the Vietnam War until 1973.
2. The USSR was on a massive rearmament program of
3. The weapons being produced by both superpowers
during the past decade were designed to fit their
particular defense programs--in the case of the
US, jungle warfare, and for the USSR, strategic
offense and defense. Therefore, the French were
able to tailor their industries and market the
armaments sought by the emerging Third World
4. The US and USSR had agreed upon the non-proliferation
issues which enabled the non-allied French to market
arms free of diplomatic constraints and superpower
Consequently, in the past decade French arms were not only
competitive, but were also politically and ideologically free.
Coupled with these French advantages was the fact that
a burgeoning arms market was waiting to be exploited by the
opportunistic French. This market became available for the
1. The Third World became endowed with disposable
income from resource exports to industrialized
2. Several Third World countries were engaged in
3. Several countries were situated between armed
camps and hostile neighbors. These countries
sought arms for defense due to unstable political
4. Lesser developed countries (LDC's) were trying to
burst out of their technologically backwards con-
dition. Sophisticated arms created the image of
technological advancement and contributed to their
own technological base .
5 . Third World countries favored French arms as a
symbol of their independence from major power
For these and other reasons, the French were able to enjoy
for over a decade a period of economic success as arms traders.
During this period France received all the benefits of
commercial success, including not only international prestige,
but also, in the case of French domestic politics, it guaran-
teed the administration widespread popular support. All this
industrial productivity took place during a time when France
was building up its own independent arsenals. The export
trade helped finance the nuclear "force de f rappe . " It off-
set conventional weapon R&D for the French military and insured
that the defense production line would stay open to support
French forces at home and abroad.
France gained some influence by sending economic
assistance personnel to the LDC's only with the weapons for
service and training. This technique of personal interaction
was not unlike the French colonial policy which was designed
to spread French culture through education and language.
The French arms policy during this time was a socio-political
policy designed to regain the "grandeur that was France,"'- ■"
a policy served by the reputation France gained as a major
supplier of front line, high technology weapons systems.
Obviously, France had more than just sales to lose when the
two superpowers reentered the market in that watershed year
2 . Reasons for Decline
Several events that occurred in 19 7 3 caused the French
to reexamine their dwindling arms trade market and to begin
to search for commercially viable alternatives. French mili-
tary orders began to ebb more rapidly after the 19 7 3 Middle
East embargo, having already fallen drastically from $670
million to $315 million in 1969. L 152:259 J T h e us was a fcie to
introduce new aircraft of the caliber of the F-14, F-15 and
F-16 and to transfer Vietnam War surplus aircraft like OV-10's
and C-130's which further hastened the demise of the French
arms trade. About the same time the Soviets were introducing
high-performance aircraft like the MiG-25 to the Middle East
theater which humiliated the air defenses equipped with
French supplied arms. French market leverage was being under-
cut by its former clients as in the case of Israel's attempt
to transfer French Mirages to Venezuela. Even more humiliat-
ing was the introduction of the Israeli Kfir fighter, made
competitive by the Israeli engineers from the stolen French
All these events forced the French to reexamine their
arms transfer policies. To prevent the economic collapse of
their industries that depended so heavily on the arms trade,
the French did two things. First, they diverted their aero-
space and armaments industries into multi-national corpora-
tions, combining resources, labor, technology and international
sales networks with those of their European partners. Second-
ly, the French sought to avert economic recession by entering
into competition with the US and USSR in exporting the rapidly
developing nuclear power technology.
In the past, only the US and Canada had the necessary
uranium fuels to exercise control and influence over the sale
of nuclear technology. Without the fuel, the technology
bought by an LDC was short-lived. Furthermore, this depend-
ency on foreign sources of nuclear fuel inhibited the con-
struction of nuclear reactors in the LDC ' s . This "fuel
dependency" was made painfully obvious during the oil embargo
Two things happened which allowed nuclear power pro-
duction to become economically and politically desirable.
First, the energy scarcity tended to silence the opponents
of nuclear power production. Arguments made by environ-
mentalists that impeded earlier nuclear technology develop-
ment in the 60' s were blunted by the safety records compiled
by second generation reactors in the 70 's.
Secondly, the new generation fast breeder reactors,
reproducing their own fuel, freed the perspective recipients
from the entanglements of uranium dependency. Several in-
dustrial countries stepped in to take advantage of the new
opportunities to break the superpower monopoly. Of all the
countries that entered the nuclear power production market,
France was the most committed.
3 . French Nuclear Advantage
France enjoyed certain unique advantages that permitted
the French nuclear reactor industry to exploit this burgeoning
1. France did not sign the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
and thus her industry was not restricted from
testing and improving upon Western nuclear
2 . France had developed and maintained its own
nuclear strike force. This provided government
support for nuclear research in terms of money
3. France had developed nuclear-powered submarines
which required the same specialized research
program which had helped the US industries
produce their commercial reactor technology.
4. France did not sign the Nonproliferation Treaty
(NPT) in 1968, and therefore was not restricted
by treaty inspections and sanctions . France had
free reign of the full range of the world's
4.- i i i 4. [191:58]
potential nuclear market.
5. France embarked upon its nuclear sales campaign
as an established supplier with sales connections
which had been developed during the past decade
through French arms sales.
6. France had spent a full decade since limiting its
military participation in the NATO alliance by
establishing itself as a neutral, non-ideological
supplier. France was looked upon by the emerging
Third World as a successful example of how a
country could survive and even thrive outside the
bipolar bloc structure. France, therefore, was
a symbol of " polycentrism" L - 1 which increased
its affinity to the developing countries.
7. France had benefited from its experience in the
60 's of being able to "deal with wild cards" in
a two-handed arms game between the US and USSR.
France had been able to capitalize on the markets
left unattended by the two superpowers. This
same gray market, i.e., embargoed nations, pariah
states, etc., was not unfamiliar territory to the
French exporting industries.
8. Another reason France was able to compete with the
superpowers in the nuclear trade was the effective
role France played in the European Economic
Community. Joint nuclear production and the sharing
of European technology and resources, particularly
with West Germany made the French nuclear reactor
industry highly competitive.
4 . Search for Markets
There are two reasons why France can now implement
these unique advantages in a successful campaign to exploit
the world's nuclear technology markets. First, President
Carter has halted US fast breeder reactor production because
the weapons grade plutonium produced by these reactors could
fall into the hands of terrorists. This gives the go ahead
signal for the French to capitalize on cancelled US contracts.
Dr. Demitri Simes has said, "The arms race was one-sided--the
Soviets were racing to catch up and the US was busy reducing —
it is easy to win an arms race of this nature." 1 - -* This
one-sided arms race principle can be applied to the French
nuclear power industry. The French began putting all their
industrial strength, marketing analysis and commercial experi-
ence behind nuclear energy sales and service at a time when
the US was putting political restraints on its own nuclear
industry and diplomatic restraints on all other nuclear
suppliers. It was easy for the French to win in an energy race
of this nature.
The second reason why the time is propitious for
French commercialism is that the Third World is emerging in
their cultural and industrial evolution ripe for a new energy
source. The fact that some LDC ' s are considered by the US
State Department to receive high technology weapons like the
F-15 shows their increasing technological capacity .
The following is a list of the reasons why the Third
World is motivated to acquire nuclear technology. These
reasons are strikingly similar to the Third World's reasons
for acquiring arms. Nuclear power production is said to:
1. Offer a quick fix that frees the LDC from external
energy dependency and political constraints;
2. Promote rapid economic development;
3. Create a favorable balance of payments;
4. Establish new markets for the LDC ' s rapidly
expanding export industries;
5. Insure a major power interest in protecting the
LDC's during regional conflicts (one factor
working against French reactor sales) ;
6. Increase the indigenous technological base;
7. Increase domestic security through its ability to
enhance popular support for the existing regime;
8. Increase external security by tacitly projecting
the image of being able to divert fuel into
weapons production during international conflicts;
9. Project big power prestige and status as a member
of the "nuclear power club;" 1 - * J
10. Convert windfall profits earned in oil economies
into social welfare improvement projects (Wide-
spread deployment of nuclear-produced electricity
is seen by oil rich nations as returning the
greatest benefits to quell rural unrest by
diverting public consciousness from the unequal
distribution of wealth.);
11. Counter the image gained by neighboring rivals to
avert regional hegemony (Brazil and Argentina,
Pakistan and India, Iran and Iraq, etc.) .
The United States and Soviet alignment on the fast
breeder reactor non-proliferation issue coupled with a rising
demand have caused the nuclear reactor market to suddenly
expand beyond the abilities of the US and USSR to supply the
demand. The French, with their socio-political advantages
and their ambitious program to offset declining arms sales,
have embarked on a successful nuclear power export program
with multi-billion dollar contracts extending through the
a * *.u 4. [191:59]
end of the century. J
This section has provided the reasons why the French
have entered the nuclear technology export market following
a decade of prominence as an arms supplier. The next chapter
will present evidence to show that the French have patterned
their nuclear reactor export policies by superimposing their
established arms transfer policies.
B. ARMS TRANSFER POLICIES AND NUCLEAR EXPORT POLICIES
1 . Presenting the Evidence
HYPOTHESIS: IF... French arms transfer policies, pro-
cedures, and events closely parallel the
present policies, procedures and events
that occur in the French nuclear power
equipment export trade ... .Then ... the
French have adapted their successful
pattern of arms transfers to the nuclear
reactor export program.
METHODOLOGY: This chapter will present the results of
an examination that compared French arms
transfer patterns to French nuclear
reactor sales patterns . The categories
which have been studied include but are
not limited to political, economic,
bureaucratic, military, and diplomatic
procedures and events. During the course
of the content analysis, certain public
statements surfaced and are included for
their description of the international
systemic effect that French arms transfers
have in common with French reactor sales.
VARIABLES: SIPRI, The Arms Trade with the Third World ,
19 71, was used to collect twenty-eight statements that describe
the French arms transfer policies, procedures and events that
characterized the French successes and failures during the
F 1 6 2 1
1960-1971 era. These statements will be compared to
published accounts of the present day French nuclear power
production export transactions. The intent of this comparison
is to identify the distinguishing characteristics of both
policies and to highlight their similarities or differences.
FORMAT: When parallel columns are used, the arms
transfer comments will appear on the left-hand side and the
nuclear transactions on the right. This list will be repeated
in summary form at the end of this section. The conclusions
drawn from this comparison will demonstrate the validity of
the proposed hypothesis.
2 . Historical Parallel Patterns
The following examples of arms transfer patterns and
nuclear technology transfer patterns demonstrate the French
policy to operate independently from Western diplomatic
After the US imposed an
embargo on India and
Pakistan in September 1965,
France sold Mirages and
submarines to Pakistan.
Although the US and Canada
has imposed a Uranium embargo
on the EEC to emphasize non-
proliferation concerns, France
sold Pakistan a controversial
These two episodes helped France maintain its image as a major
The following examples show the French willingness to
sell to "pariah states" despite diplomatic pressure on the non-
proliferation of arms and nuclear technology.
In August 1963, the UN
Security Council resolution
called for an arms embargo
on South Africa. France
abstained and became the
main supplier of arms to
the tune of $170 million,
roughly 45% of South
Africa's total major arms
imports from 1961-1969. 1- 162:268 -1
France did not sign the nu-
clear non-proliferation treaty
of 1968 , and has since become
the foremost supplier of the
controversial fast breeder
reactor. "Pariah states" like
South Africa and Pakistan are
on the list to get French fast
breeder technology in spite of
international adversion. ' ' - 1
The commercial benefits of these controversial export policies
are clear. France has taken advantage of the so-called "gray
market" for arms and nuclear fast breeder reactors with few
competitors. This "laissez faire" export policy for both arms
and nuclear reactors has brought political pressure from the
United States in an attempt to prevent deliveries of certain
equipment. L J
When the US attempted to
discourage Latin American
countries from buying
France demonstrated its
readiness to supply tanks
and supersonic aircraft. - 1
The US State Department is
offering A-7 aircraft to
Pakistan in return for that
country's agreement to pull
out of a deal with the
French for a nuclear re-
. . [155:2]
processing plant. L
The French government actively promotes exports which cater
to the developing countries .
The French have emphasized
the sale of weapons to de-
veloping countries. The
1967 and 1969 exhibitions
were held at Satory with
special arms displays for
, . . . . [162:254]
The French favor a maximum
development of their nuclear
equipment industries, and a
strong contribution of these
industries to their exports
and their entree as develop-
ers into third-world
. ■ [117:75]
countries . L
French exports are tailored to meet foreign market require-
The French government has
placed emphasis on the
design of military equip-
ment to meet foreign re-
quirements. The Mirage 5
has been specially designed
for the third-world
To achieve its goal, Pakistan
bought a French reactor that
did not depend on foreign re-
processing. L J
Also, the French have announced
a new nuclear fuel process that
does not produce the weapons
grade plutonium. Thus it is
designed to overcome current
on the export of the fast
breeder reactor .
The French have never been shy about their export objectives
The following examples illustrate the French style of taking
advantage of opportunistic situations in both arms sales and
When the British imposed
an embargo on South Africa
in 1964 , France exploited
the embargo to become the
principal supplier to that
_ . [162:249]
General Electric was the
front-runner to supply
South Africa with a nu-
clear reactor. However,
France "streaked past
when an embarrassed Re-
indicated it would prefer
the contract to go to a
non-American firm. L
A similar deal was con-
cluded between France and
Iran while American re-
actor orders were stalled
• A k 4- [8:76]
in debate .
Illustrating that French opportunism is still alive,
the French "snapped up" the vacant space to mount a national
exhibit" at the British Farnborough Air Show after the US
Department of Commerce did not take up its option on 25,000
square feet. "A sign of the times," says Aviation Week . *- 1:13 -1
SIPRI concludes that "French actions can best be
described as those of a country seeking the best available
markets without strong political restraints ." L ' J
Although SIPRI was describing French arms transfer policies,
the following account of a recent Franco-Japanese nuclear
reprocessing contract shows the same pattern of opportunism
without strong political restraint: The Japanese got tired
of waiting for the lengthy procedures of a British public
inquiry into a proposed joint venture with France and Britain
to recycle spent fuel so they pressed on ahead with the French
[*146 • 84 1
half of the deal first. " J The pattern is clear. The
French political climate does not restrain the French from
taking advantage of other countries 1 political constraints.
Government support for exports in France can be seen in the
following examples of the parallel patterns of arms and
Arms Nuclear Power
A large part of French The French nuclear engineer-
armaments industry is ing firm, Framatome, is now
government owned. The owned by the government's
biggest exceptions are Atomic Energy Commission.
Dassault and Breguet Together with Alsthom and
which merged in 1967. the Compagnie Electro-
There is close cooperation Mecanique, it forms the
between private and na-
tional firms and the sales
of weapons are strictly
supervised. The Direction
des Affairs Internales is
primarily responsible for
the promotion of weapon
exports on the government's
French industrial group
that goes out for export
orders. Close government
supervision is provided
by the semi-autonomous
Atomic Energy Commission
which plays an active role
in the initiation of export
This illustrates that the French have adopted their successful
arms transfer practices of "government ownership," "close
cooperation and supervision," and an "active role in promoting
exports" to help the nuclear export industry prosper in the
70's. President Giscard d'Estaing emphasized the French
government's support for nuclear exports when he chose to head
*.u u • u- i * [127:53]
up a committee on the subject himself.
One reason for close government cooperation with its
arms industry and nuclear industry is the role exports play
in maintaining the defense industry as illustrated in the
following parallel examples.
Arms exports are central
to the French defense in-
dustry: the growth of the
industry has been closely
associated with the growth
of its exports. The role
played by exports in main-
taining the French defense
industry has been stressed
. , . , [162:257]
French exports of nuclear
power plants serve the
defense industry in several
ways. The capital intensive
domestic development of both
military and commercial uses
of nuclear energy are financed
in part by exports. Prime
Minister Barre has stressed
exports above the problem of
unemployment as a primary
The arms industry and the nuclear power industry benefit from
export policies that help to defray the enormous research and
development costs. The French elected to develop their own
nuclear weapons in the early 60' s and now have a larger research
r o "7 • 1 1 "i
reactor than the US. '* J The export of the nuclear tech-
nology which was derived from this defense research and develop-
ment has enabled the French to defray much of the R&D costs.
The practice of using exports to defray the R&D costs is a
recurring principle in French Arms transfer policies. To wit:
Arms Nuclear Power
South Africa and Israel have The French have clearly demon-
both made contributions to strated an ability to develop
French R&D by financing nuclear power in an effort to
major projects. Further- acquire a technical base for
more, Israel has provided a nuclear weapons option. * - 1
design modifications for the Thus exports have contributed to
French defense industry. * J the financing of the force de
The policy of allowing French arms and reactors to be sold
commercially has encouraged the defense industries to produce
weapons and reactors for domestic use. For example, the
French experience with nuclear submarine developments is
similar to the experience of the US defense industry. Like
the US, the French commercial reactors are derivative copies
of the submarine reactor. In the US, both GE and Westinghouse
were eager to capitalize commercially on their experience in
T 1 9 1 • 5 8 1
the US Navy's reactor program. ' J "Therefore, like the
US, the establishing, maintenance and development of a strate-
gic nuclear force... is expensive," and thus the future of the
French arms industry depends, to a large extent, on its
. .. , [162:258]
export potential. J
The French have often employed the use of joint pro-
duction of arms and nuclear fuel cycle technology in order
to maximize export profits. This policy shows that commer-
cial interests are often more compelling than long-standing
hatreds or rivalries arising from war. The origin of coop-
eration of this magnitude was the Shumann plan which enabled
France and West Germany to pool resources of coal and steel
to aid in post war economic recovery. The French cooperate
to increase France's competitiveness as an arms and nuclear
France has undertaken co-
production of arms with
West Germany, Britain,
Italy, etc. Concorde,
Transall, Jaguar, Martel,
Alpha Jet, and Poland, to
name a few, are all co-
oroduced with the French
, . . , . [162:258]
France, West Germany and
three other Common Market
countries will pool re-
sources for research,
and construction of liquid-
sodium-cooled fast breeder
reactors . L J
The French arms industry shares another pattern of export
method with the nuclear power production industry. Both
have profited by using the technique of exporting production
technology under license, a technique not always used by
other arms and reactor suppliers. This method has enabled
the two industries to compete in spite of political and
Although Giscard placed an
errbargo on most military
sales to South Africa two
years ago, many of the arms
are produced under earlier
licensing agreements made
earlier with the French.
E.g., Mirage aircraft are
built under license at a
plant near Johannesburg.
French scientists have de-
veloped a new process for
nuclear fuel enrichment that
does not produce weapons
grade fuel. It allows the
French to export "do-it-
yourself" kits to countries
that want to make their own
reactor fuel without the
danger of weapons prolifera-
tion. To date only the
French have envisioned the
export of nuclear breeder
reactors under license. L
The two methods of transfer, co-production and licensing of
production technology, have helped to make French arms and
reactors competitive with the two superpowers. The French
have demonstrated an ability to break the monopoly held by
the two superpowers that had existed in both arms and nuclear
reactor export markets.
The French arms technology
of the 60' s was able to
compete successfully with
the US and USSR in almost
every area of weapons de-
. . [162:258] -
production of arms has
contributed to "European .
policy and to breaking the
domination exercised by
The new French fuel process
would break what amounts to
a world monopoly of commer-
cial uranium enrichment
shared by the US and the
_ . . ... [104:2]
Soviet Union . L
The French refused to
support the formalized
restraints on future exports
the US in provision of
essential material. »t 162:258 ]
of " sensitive materials "
which was advocated by the
US-led London Nuclear
r 1 7 - 9 1
Suppliers Conference . L * J
Thus the French hold to their policy of exploiting the market
formally dominated by the US and USSR.
The most striking parallel pattern of arms and nuclear
transfers can be seen in the events following the 1967 and
1973 Arab-Israeli wars. The French were one of the principal
suppliers of Israeli arms in the 60' s as well as the designer
and builder of the Israeli research reactor at Dimona in 1964 .
The parallel pattern emerged when the French decided to
exchange the Israeli market for the potentially more lucrative
Arab market, first with French arms transfers after the 1967
war, and then with reactor orders after the 1973 war.
SIPRI explains that the
reason for this shift in
French Arms transfer poli-
cy is "for commercial and
other gains in an Arab
world disenchanted with
Britain and the US and not
satisfied with USSR> 162:249 -'
The Libyan Mirage deal for
110 French fighters in
January of 1970 is an ex-
ample of the shift to Arab
. . [162:252]
This same pattern was re-
peated for French-supplied
nuclear reactors after the
1973 war. The Iranian
government became impatient
waiting for American reactor
orders and signed a contract
with France for two 900-
megawatt nuclear reactor
. . 1Q __ [8:78, 53:5]
plants in 1977. L J
These two examples illustrate the French policy of "all-
azimuth friendship" with the Arab world. *- 117 : 76 ^ This
policy was the result of a pragmatic evaluation of the
benefits to be gained from courting the Arab market in lieu
of what the Israelis could offer. The courtship of the Arabs
with arms and reactors has proven to be far more profitable for
the French industry than would have been the case with contin-
uing trade with the Israelis. The French have patterned
their "pro-Arab, sans Israeli" nuclear export policy after
their significant arms policy shift following the 1967 war.
French nuclear reactor sales and French arms sales
are considered similar in the minds of some international
actors. It is clear that at a meeting of the "nonaligned
nations" at Colombo in August 1976, the delegates considered
the French policy of arms and reactor exports to be similar.
To wit: all the Arab oil countries voted for the resolution
to "impose an immediate oil embargo on France (and Israel) in
retribution for their arms sales and (French) reactor sales
*. c *.t, a^ • ,,[117:62]
to South Africa." 1 - J
The French have adopted a policy io export nuclear
reactors in a renewed effort to gain resources from the Third
World, notably South Africa. This pattern originated with
the French arms trade. For example:
Arms Nuclear Power
In South Africa, an agree- Diplomats in Paris say that
ment concerning uranium was France ' s new wider interest
signed in 1966, simultaneously in Africa stems from such
with the signing of a general practical considerations as
arms trade agreement. Also, her need for petroleum and
French uranium prospecting uranium. This reply came in
is taking place in Brazil response to concern for
which is associated with French supplied nuclear
purchases of military plants in South Africa. * ■■
equiprent.t 1521256 ^
Therefore, it can be said that the French pattern has been to
use arms transfers as well as nuclear reactor sales to secure
foreign resources. The pattern is similar. Even the techniques
by which foreign markets are secured by French arms merchants
are similar to the methods used by the nuclear reactor industry.
For example, close military cooperation between the French and
the North African states paved the way for future arms purchases
when these states reached a level of development compatible
with large acquisitions of arms. " J This method of close
cooperation worked for the French in Japan. A close associa-
tion with the Japanese during the designing of the French-
built $200 million plant at Tokai Mura paved the way for the
signing of an accord between Paris and Tokyo in which it was
agreed that Japan would have its used nuclear fuel reprocessed
in a French installation. 1 - " - 1 It appears that this close
nuclear reactor cooperation paved the way for the reprocessing
contract in much the same way that the French military coop-
eration policy in North Africa led to arms sales. Furthermore,
President Carter, in commenting on the Franco-Japanese accord,
has predicted that once Japan has shipped fuel to France for
reprocessing, other countries will wish to get into the busi-
ness of reprocessing spent fuel for export. Regardless
of increasing availability of alternate sources, one can assume,
as evidenced by past French arms export policies, that France
will be on hand to capitalize on the nations that follow
The French have an arms transfer policy of providing
services and training along with their equipment. This is
intended to maintain French influence and to create a con-
I" 1 fi 2 • 2 fi 2 1
tinuing dependency on France. J This practice has
been duplicated in the nuclear reprocessing contracts signed
by the recipients of French and other suppliers' reactor
equipment. The French procedure is to promote reprocessing
for all nuclear generating plants in as many countries as it
can convince to participate. Thus the need for French
support is maintained through nuclear servicing in the same
way it was maintained with weapons training and servicing.
One reason the French are able to supply separate
reprocessing services for nuclear reactors built by other
suppliers is because of the diversified structuring of the
nuclear power industry. Each function of the nuclear fuel
cycle is marketed as a separate and complete package . This
method was designed and perfected by the French arms industry
The French arms industry was
designed with independent
private selling agencies
which undertake the promo-
4.- ^ [162:255]
tion of weapon exports. 1 - J
Paris maintains an elaborate
sales apparatus that has been
organized into several
The French have designed
their nuclear export products
to be sold separately.
Standard reactors, fuel pro-
cessors, fast breeder re-
actors, and fuel reprocessing
in French plants, are all
packaged and sold as separate
separate agencies, in
order to avoid political
problems in providing
weapons to both sides of
a conflict. Thus one
French agency can sell
arms to South Africa and
Israel, while another can
show the latest gadgetry
to black Africans and
ArabsJ 3:12 l
export commodities. Thus,
the sale of a fast breeder
reactor to Iran to process
fuel from US supplied plants
or reprocessing Japanese fuel
used in their home-built
plants can be sold as complete
The French have designed their nuclear export products to be
sold separately. Thus the sale of a fast breeder to Iran can
proceed as a complete transaction in the same pattern as
earlier French arms transfer patterns.
There is a striking similarity between the arguments
used to defend the French position on the export of arms to
South Africa during the Security Council debate in 196 3, and
the defense of the French reactor sales to South Africa
expressed by President Giscard d'Estaing. Each made the
distinction between intended national use and the possibility
that the arms' or reactors' fuel might be used for offensive
Security Council representa-
tive Seydoux declared, "I
have specified that the
French authorities would
take all the measures they
consider necessary to
prevent the sale to the
While admitting that two
French-built submarines and
frigates were still in the
pipeline, the two nuclear re-
actors which France had
promised were designed to
meet South Africa's power
South African government needs, not to boost its mili-
of arms which could be used tary potential. ^
for repression" thus drawing
the distinction between arms
for national defense and arms
for internal use. [l62:269]
There is a common reference to symbolism in both the
French arms transfer policies of the 60' s and the current
reactor policies in the 70 's. In the first example, President
de Gaulle announced that France would impose an embargo on the
aggressor in the Middle East after the June war of 1967. This
embargo was selective in that it continued to supply all equip-
ment to Israel except the Mirage because the Mirage was "the
symbol of the offensive and its role was very important in the
development of the conflict. " L " - 1 In another instance,
the 'symbol of conflict" was the French reactor sale to South
Africa. Pressure was stepped up by the black Africans to get
France to cancel its reactor contract as was stated in The
Economist because "the contract was seen as a symbol of the
old sin of placing commercial interests above the fate of
the blacks. ^ 107:46 ^
The French have shown in the following two examples
that for both arms transfer contracts and nuclear reactor
contracts they are prepared to operate under two policies,
the official policy and the policy of the industry to honor
During the French embargo
on the aggressor in the
1967 war, the official
policy condemned Israeli
actions while the industry
continued to supply
arms. L J Also, in
January 1970, France
stated that there would be
no sale of Mirages to Iraq.
However, Iraq has been re-
ceiving French weapons in-
cluding six Alouettes.'- 162:257 ^
Although agreeing to an em-
bargo on future exports of
nuclear reprocessing plants,
the French have continued
with delivery of the fast
breeder reactor to Pakistan
withholding only a portion
of the equipment back at
this time. The French have
stated that they are bound
bv the previous pledge to
PakistarJ 105 ^
France has used the tactic of arms denial and reactor
denial when the French have felt that the recipient had
taken advantage of the transfer policies:
The selective arms embargo
on Israel became a total
embargo after Israeli
sailors smuggled five gun-
boats out of France in 1969.
"The gunboat affair repre-
sented a defiance of official
rw. U t ,,[162:266]
When Israel defied the
official policy, the second
industry policy was
. . [162:266]
clamped down upon.
This same pattern developed
when South Africa was sus-
pected of developing an
atomic bomb capability
from the French supplied
reactors. France became the
most outspoken advocate of a
complete arms embargo by the
w 4- [52:3]
It seems apparent that the French propensity to sell
arms and reactors can be altered by the recipients themselves
faster than by diplomatic pressure on France by other supplier
The final comparison will be made between the transfer
modes used for French arms and reactors exports. SIPRI states
that there is little evidence that the French government sub-
sidizes arms exports. 1 J Reactor sales are also con-
ducted with cash or credit. The line of credit extended for
reactors, however, far exceeds the amount available for arms
purchases. One can assume that the French are reluctant to
extend credit for the arms which in the case of Middle East
sales could be used up before they were paid for.
The nuclear power technology and equipment are assured
of being long-term assets. What's more, the fuel supplies and
reprocessing that will endure beyond the initial reactor sale
is a form of leverage to guarantee payment. One may assume
that the power and influence gained either through reactor
sales or arms transfers are similar in their combined ability
to accomplish certain foreign policy objectives sought by the
supplier nation. This section has identified the cause of
this influence and not attempted to measure its effect. It
will be enough to serve the research design of this thesis to
merely identify the similarities between the French arms
transfer patterns and the nuclear power equipment sales.
These will now be presented in summary.
The preceding evidence has shown that French arms
transfer policies and present day French nuclear power export
policies have followed a parallel pattern. The following list
will highlight the similarities of the two policies.
3 . Summarizing the Similarities
1. Both policies demonstrate the French pattern of
operating independently to maintain its image as
a non-aligned actor.
2. Each policy shows French willingness to deal with
pariah states despite diplomatic pressures.
3. Both policies have caused the US to attempt to
prevent deliveries of certain equipment.
4. Both industries are used by the French government
in its policy to promote exports which cater to
developing countries .
5. In both industries exports are tailored to meet
foreign market requirements.
6 . Both policies illustrate the French style of
taking advantages of opportunistic situations.
7. Both policies seek the best available markets
without strong political restraints.
8. In both industries the government shares a large
part of the ownership.
9 . The government closely cooperates with both in-
dustries and closely supervises each sale.
10 . In both industries the government plays an active
role in the initiation of export deals.
11. Exports of both arms and nuclear technology are
closely associated with the French defense industry
12. Both export policies are designed to partially
defray the large R&D expenses incurred by both
13. Each policy encourages the defense industries to
produce products for domestic use.
14 . In both industries a policy of joint production
has made French exports competitive.
15. Both policies use the technique of exporting pro-
duction technology under license to circumvent
political and diplomatic pressures.
16. Both policies have demonstrated the French ability
to break the superpower monopoly.
17. Both policies exhibited a pragmatic approach in
their shift from Israeli to the more lucrative
Arab markets .
18. Both policies were used to signal the French
political policy of "all-azimuth friendship,"
especially to the Arab world.
19 . Both policies have been viewed as similar in the
minds of some international actors.
20. Both export policies have been used to gain re-
sources from the Third World.
21. Both policies have benefited from close coopera-
tion with recipients after the transfers, paving
the way for future sales.
22. Both policies provide additional services intended
to maintain French influence and a continuing
23. Both industries feature diversified structuring to
allow separate sales of each function.
24. Both policies are able to sell separate packages
to a diversified market because of the compart-
mentalized structure of each industry.
25. Similar arguments are used to defend both policies.
26. Common reference is made to symbolism in both the
arms transfer policies of the 60' s and the nuclear
export policies of the 70 's.
27. For both arms transfer contracts and nuclear re-
actor contracts the French have demonstrated that
they are prepared to operate under two policies,
the official policy and the policy of the industry
to honor its commitments.
28. Both policies have used the tactic of export em-
bargo when the French felt the recipients had
taken advantage of the transfer policies.
29. Both policies are similar in the modes of transfer
However, the line of credit extended for reactors
far exceeds the amount extended for arms purchases .
4 . Conclusion
Increased arms exports and commercial activity could
be regarded as part of a policy to increase the French polit-
ical "presence" in the world, to establish France as an inter-
national force in the world independent of the two major power
camps.'- •* Indeed, French prestige has increased
recently as a result of its ambitious nuclear export policy.
The actual degree of influence and power gained as a direct
result of the marketing of French nuclear power generating
equipment and service is difficult to measure and beyond the
scope of this thesis. However this chapter has served to
compare French nuclear export policies to the French arms
transfer patterns. The evidence presented clearly supports
the notion that the French have adapted their arms transfer
policies to an ambitious nuclear reactor export program. The
next section will continue to evaluate the impact of French
nuclear power exports on the conduct of French foreign policy
C. NUCLEAR ENERGY AND FRENCH FOREIGN POLICY
This section of this chapter will attempt to identify the
major foreign policy goals of the French Government. These
goals, stated simply, are to promote French wealth, influence,
and culture both at home and abroad. After a more detailed
identification of French foreign policy objectives, this
paper will focus on the ability of the ambitious nuclear power
industry to help the French government promote French wealth,
influence and culture in both domestic and international pol-
itics. The purpose of this examination is to illustrate the
value of using a nuclear power-oriented approach in the polit-
ical analysis of a nation.
There are several reasons why one should link foreign
policy with nuclear policy. To begin with, the intensive
capital commitment to nuclear power production requires
government involvement to deal with both foreign and domestic
issues an order of magnitude greater than all other industries.
The public and private debates over nuclear energy issues and
options include the controversies surrounding the budget,
defense, weapons proliferation, the environment, unemployment,
technology transfers, trade deficits, ideological competition,
energy scarcity and energy dependency, etc.
Writing in the magazine, Nuclear Engineering International ,
Michel Pecqueur commented about the link between foreign policy
and nuclear policy. "Today nuclear energy has grown up and is
intimately blended in the technical, economic and political
f i 36 • 45 "I
issues of the life of the country." 1 - * J Although this
statement pertained specifically to France, the nuclear power
industry has the characteristic of permeating the socio-
political events in any country. Therefore, the link between
the nuclear policy of a nation and a nation's foreign policy
is valuable to the political analyst as a point where one can
expect to find a concentration of several elements of public
and private concern. The study of the nuclear power contro-
versy becomes the place to take the political pulse of a
nation, to observe, so to speak, the intensity and direction
of current political thought.
The formulation of nuclear policy in France is a highly
visible process. One organization runs the whole nuclear
industry. The Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique , or CEA, is
responsible for controlling all nuclear activities from
research to defense. One of the CEA ' s main responsibilities
is to advise the French government on the formulation of nu-
clear policy. According to Michel Pecqueur, Adjoint a
1 ' Administrateur General Delegue du CEA:
Nuclear activities are now increasingly part of many
aspects of the daily life of the country, for ex-
ample: technical studies; safety; industrial organ-
ization; international relations; and national defence.
Thus, the government and administration must daily
deal with nuclear matters, or with problems where
nuclear matters are involved. As an horizontal
organization CEA is able to take a global view of
all the relevant aspects, and to advise government
and administration accordingly on the formulation
and implementation of nuclear policy . L 136 : 45 -l
Clearly, a relationship exists between the French political
process that formulates foreign policy and the CEA nuclear
policy activities. This relationship can be explored by the
analyst for the purpose of producing evidence to show that
the French nuclear power industry represents major trends in
French foreign policy.
1 . Defining French Foreign Policy
According to Dr. Dimitri Simes, Director of Soviet
Policy Studies, Georgetown University, it is hard to define
national objectives or specific foreign policy. "The country
itself may not know what its policies are . " ^ -* The best
source of foreign policy objectives must come from those
public statements and policy papers which carry the indorse-
ment of the Government.
The following statements will serve to identify three
main areas for French foreign policy objectives. They are
extracted from a document entitled, France's Defense Policy,
the Report on the Program for Military Expenditures and Equip -
ment for the Armed Forces for the 1977-1982 Period , adopted
by Parliament as Law No. 76-531 on June 19, 1976, hereafter
referred to as the "Defense document."
The world context for France's security policy
is characterized by a few basic facts: first,
that in East-West relations the quest for detente
has replaced the cold war; second, the growing
importance that the countries of the Third World,
most of them the fruit of decolonization, have
acquired in international relations; and lastly,
the first signs, in the western part of our conti-
nent, of the economic and political organization
of Europe. L50:4J
It is possible to extract from this statement several
key areas in which the French are involved. As a consequence
of these concerns, certain roles emerge: the role of France
as an independent international actor, the role of France as
a guardian of the Third World's stability, and the role of
France as an influence in the reorganization of Europe.
2 . The Role of Independent International Actor
In the role of independent international actor, France
has demonstrated the willingness to commit troops and supplies
to prevent a major actor from gaining control over a Third
World country. In less than one year, President Valery
Giscard d'Estaing has committed French forces on five fronts
in Africa and the Middle East. The justification given for
some of this French activity is that France must fill the role
abandoned by the United States since the Vietnam War and
T 91 • 17dl
prevent Soviet efforts at destabilization in Africa.
The role of French intervention in post cold war in-
ternational relations was explained by French Foreign Minister
Louis de Guiringaud when he said: "It is probably the weaken-
ing or the disappearance of a certain kind of American presence
in the world today encouraged the Soviets to profit in these
various situations of tension. ' - 1 The French, according to
Guiringaud, are trying to help the Africans take control of
their problems themselves. Some critics of Giscard,
however, have charged that "Giscard sees himself as another
De Gaulle — seeking to enhance the image of France as a major
T 1 8 9 • 3 9 1
power on the international scene." 1 ' J For whatever
reason, the first principle of French foreign policy is to
reverse the trend towards the isolationism evidenced in the
1960's and to project France into the main stream of inter-
national relations. Much can be added to the understanding
of French foreign policy by comparing France to another
independent-minded nuclear power, China.
One important parallel emerged from the visit to
Shanghai Harbor in mid April 19 78 by a French destroyer.
This event marked the first time a Western warship had
visited China since the Communist revolution. On this
occasion Chairman Hua Kuo-feng declared France and China
r £ "7 • "7 "3 "I
"a global united front against superpower hegemonism. " L " J
This statement reflects the sentiments of a large number of
Frenchmen who still treasure the memory of Charles de Gaulle.
It serves as a clue to the direction in which French foreign
policy is headed as France pursues its role as an agent of
international change .
Regardless of the reasons behind France's active
participation in international politics, the future success
of French foreign policy will be aided in large measure by
the increasing success of the French nuclear power industry
abroad. This will be seen in the second area of French
concern identified by the Defense document — the importance
of the Third World, and the role of French intervention.
3 . Guardian of Third World Stability
Today the Third World nations, says the Defense docu-
...constitute an essential factor in the con-
temporary world due to the importance they
have acquired on the international scene. L 50:5 J
Mr. Georges Puravet, Industrial Attache of the French-
Commercial Consulate, when interviewed in San Francisco stated
that concern for the Third World has always been a major ob-
jective of French foreign policy. France was protected by the
markets and resources that her colonies provided until the
decolonization of the 1960 's. France was suddenly forced to
revise her export policies and begin exporting for survival.
Today, exports account for 14-15% of the French GNP compared
to roughly seven percent for the US. ^ French foreign
policy must, therefore, ensure the continuing stability and
independence of the Third World both as a market for French
products, and as the major source of raw materials that
support the French economy.
One objective of French foreign policy is to maintain
a position of trust and influence in African affairs . The
French have long maintained an intensive web of cultural,
economic and occasionally military relationships with their
former colonies as well as several other African states.
For example, during the recent crisis in Zaire, the French
assumed Western leadership but with a style that avoided the
appearance of colonial intervention. While Legionnaires
policed several African states, the heads of some 20 African
nations converged in Paris for the fifth annual Franco-
African summit. Time magazine reported that "The hero of the
hour was President Giscard, who was broadly cheered when he
declared, 'Africa for the Africans. Everything must be done
to withdraw the continent from the rivalries of political
T 3 3 • 2 8 1
blocs.'" 1 - * J The basic element of French foreign policy
towards the Third World is to maintain this "good neighbor"
image while advancing the interests of the French.
The reason for direct involvement in the Third World
is the long-held French view that the economic destinies of
Europe and Africa are inextricably linked. Europe lacks ade-
quate resources to survive, and Africa is the obvious source.
The goal of French foreign policy is to take whatever action
is necessary to maintain African stability and independence.
Supplying nuclear energy is one strategy which will assist
Third World development free from superpower influence.
The Defense document helps to explain additional
reasons for the French commitment to Third World development
and stability :
These states must also be taken into account
because of the wealth some of them have
acquired through their share of the world's
resources of raw materials and energy, and
the influence they can now exercise at both
the regional and international levels . L 50 : 5 J
The reference to raw materials held by Third World nations
draws attention to another reason given for the growing French
military presence in Africa. Stated simply, the French troops
help protect France's interest in raw materials, including
copper in Zaire and uranium in Chad. Thus, Africa
serves France serves the Africans, and both French foreign
policy and nuclear export policy is likely to reflect this
Another aspect of French foreign policy towards the
Third World is evident in this continuation of the Defense
Lastly, these states have to face tremendous
problems which, for many of them, are addi-
tional factors of internal instability and
external vulnerability. They include eco-
nomic underdevelopment, inadequate food
supplies and energy and technological
The Defense statement identifies the problems which
France must try to solve to insure Third World stability.
One aim of the massive restructuring of the French nuclear
power industry after the 1974 oil embargo was to enable the
French to provide the Third World with a measure of energy
independence. The role of France as a major provider of the
world's future energy needs is implied by the following
statement by Jean-Claude Leny, managing director of the
nuclear reactor construction firm, Framatome :
Following extensive structural changes, the in-
dustry has achieved a production rate five times
greater than before. We now have every reason
to believe that it has the stability and capa-
bility to face its national responsibilities and
an active part in the development of nuclear
energy for peaceful use the world over . L 9 / : ^0 J
Whereas the aim of the French foreign policy towards the Third
World is to provide for their energy independence, additional
benefits are derived from the ability of nuclear technology to
aid economic development and trade. Time magazine has pointed
out that the French are almost surely correct in believing
that economic development will solve Africa's problem of
external influences. They quote a French official as saying,
"There will never be stability in a world that includes both
Stone Age people and nuclear powers. Our African strategy is
one of well-being. We're convinced Africans would rather eat
than die." L " J Because France is building its nuclear
power industry with the expressed intention of supplying the
Third World with its energy needs, the nuclear power industry
helps to promote the basic element of French foreign policy..
Third World stability.
The Defense document continues to outline the role of
French foreign policy towards Africa and the Middle East:
The evolution of the Third World concerns France's
security in more than one respect. Our country,
now that it has become one of the top trading
powers in the world, is obliged to give special
attention to the conditions governing the cost
and regular delivery of its supplies from abroad,
for they govern to a large extent our own economic
Through this statement one can discern the goal of French
foreign policy to become the "key commercial intermediary
between Europe and the developing countries of Africa and the
[49 . 5 1
Middle East." L ' J According to the vision of the future
projected by French economic planners in a special report by
The Journal of Commerce , France envisions its role as the
[49 . 5 "I
"Entrepot for Europe." * This report has stated that:
France is ideally suited to assume the role as
the main channel for trade and investment flows
between Europe and the Third World because it
has historic ties with former colonies that are
now major producers of scarce raw materials
and, more significantly, because its coastlines,
harbors and river systems provide easy access to
Europe's industrial heart.
A striking example of the kind of deals France
is seeking with Third World countries is the
agreement under which France will sell Iran
five, 1 , 000-megawatt nuclear reactors worth
$1.1 billion in exchange for increased
Iranian oil deliveries to France . l49 : 5 J
To make sure that France is ready to fill its projec-
ted role as a producer and an entrepot, the government is
concentrating its development efforts on the creation of new
industrial zones and ports along the Atlantic and Mediterranean
coastlines. Clearly then, the role of intermediary between
Europe and the Third World is a major aspect of French foreign
policy. The summation of this policy is contained in the
following statement from the Defense document:
France has chosen to make the most of her inter-
national position, which is unique in many
regards, and to practice a policy of overture,
dialogue and cooperation. She wants to help
the states of the Third World that are the
closest to her, both historically and geo-
graphically, to strengthen their independence
and secure their development. France is aware
of the current importance of North-South rela-
tions and she intends to help search for and
define a more just, more rational and more
stable new economic order. [50: 6]
4 . Influencing the Reorganization of Europe
The third area of concern identified by the Defense
document for French involvement casts France as an architect
in the redesigning of pan-European relations. The Defense
statement calls attention to the "...profound solidarity that
has established cultural economic and political ties among
„ [ 5 : 6 1
the nations of Western Europe.
Interdependence is formed and strengthened each day
by geographic proximity, easy communications, booming trade
and an ever-expanding field of cooperation. Solidarity is
reflected "in Western Europe's growing awareness of its
common interests, of the unity of its cultural heritage that
underlies the diversity of national expressions, of the wealth
and strength of its material and human potential . " ^ 50 : 6 -■
This solidarity is behind the spirit of enterprise
...that has given life and form to the grand
design of European unity for more than a
quarter of a century now. Despite alternating
phases of progress and consolidation this spirit
has already made concrete achievements . [50 : 6 ]
An example of concrete achievement is the joint planning and
construction of major European nuclear energy projects for
the mutual benefits of all participating European states.
This is a clear indication of how the French nuclear power
industry has contributed to the "grand design of European
union . "
More important than the French desire to remain inde-
pendent from superpower influence is the pragmatic realization
that Western Europe must somehow remain outside the same
superpower influence. Therefore, France's foreign policy
interests are served not only by influencing the economic
development of Western Europe but also by ensuring that no
other international actor can impose its own foreign policy
restraints on Western Europe as well. The nuclear power in-
dustry, with its fuel cycle capabilities, gives France the
means to exert a measure of influence in Western European
affairs and to reduce the hold over Europe by other energy
suppliers. The following excerpt from the Rand Report,
"Europe's Changing Energy Relations," bears this out:
(The) security of supply of nuclear raw
material has been an important factor in
Western European thinking precisely vis-a-vis
the United States, with the principal accent
on possible economic rather than political
conflicts. Since the 1960's, the French,
the Germans, and others have feared that,
without alternatives to the U.S. monopoly of
enrichment services, the development of their
nuclear power and nuclear equipment industries
would be stifled by insufficient and capricious
supplies of enriched uranium; that the monopoly
would be used to favor both U.S. utilities and
the U.S. nuclear equipment industry that is
competing with the Europeans for exports; and
that to continue relying on U.S. services would
too drastically magnify Europe's economic,
technological, and political subordination to
the United States. Consequently, at the begin-
ning of the 19 70s, the groundwork was laid for
the development of alternative enrichment fa-
cilities . [11 7 : 39 ]
Economic influence over Western Europe is a major
factor in French foreign policy. Towards this specific end,
the ambitious nuclear power program is allowing France to
take a leading role in meeting the energy needs of Europe.
For example, France is less dependent on foreign uranium
resources than it has been on oil imports. Proven domestic
reserves of economic-grade ores amount to approximately
5 percent of proven world reserves in this category. These
should meet the whole of French requirements until 19 85 or
1990 according to Jean-Paul Silve , in his article for the
Nuclear Engineering International entitled, "Fuel cycle industry
,_-, ■ „ .,[154 :55]
combines private and public Enterprise.
These uranium reserves give France an advantage over
other Western European nations in the field of energy inde-
pendence. Furthermore, the technological and industrial
advances made by the French nuclear power industry give the
French a commanding lead in several areas of nuclear power
production. Taking into account the energy situation of
France during the oil crisis, a vast nuclear energy program
was launched on sound technological and economic bases. This
considerable effort, which will reduce French dependence on
imported energy, has resulted in Framatome becoming one of
the world's leading reactor builders. Additionally, in the
fuel cycle field, France has been able to ensure access to
substantial uranium reserves and the promotion and construc-
tion on its own territory of the first large European enrich-
ment facility. Finally, France has at its disposal the first
operational facility for reprocessing irradiated fuel working
4.1, i^ [136:47]
in the world .
Everything taken into account, the French nuclear
power industry has created a favorable condition for the
French to influence and build a united European community.
This community would exist free from superpower or petro-power
energy dependence largely due to the French nuclear industrial
At the end of 1975, Framatome started operating at
Chalon-sur-Saone , the largest nuclear component production
plant in Europe. Framatome and its affiliates have invested
nearly Fr 1000 million in the French nuclear industry. This
figure, according to Mr. Silve, gives an idea of the industrial
risk involved and of the effort made to enter the nuclear
, . [154:56]
Another indication of the enormous commitment to
nuclear power is the role of the French industrial effort in
reshaping Europe's economy. Jean-Paul Silve points to the
large enrichment plant in the south of France now under con-
struction by Eurodif, the participants in which include
Belgium, Spain, Italy, and Iran. The purpose of this plant
is not only to provide a substantial portion of the French
requirements for enriched uranium after 1979, but to combine
with other projects under study (for example fast breeder
technology) with a view to complete European nuclear fuel
s±. i no - [154 : 56 1
independence after 19 84. J
French foreign policy towards European unity has
already been served by the nuclear power industry. Georges
Venryes , CEA's chief of nuclear industrial applications,
points this out in an article about international cooperation
to benefit the development of advanced reactors. He states
that the French reactor designs meant to benefit commercial
interests " . . .neverless do not induce us to monopolize the
benefits for ourselves alone, and to close the door to
others." 1 Venryes says that France demonstrated this
clearly in 1974 when a complete set of agreements were con-
cluded by Italy and France, closely associating the two
countries in all aspects of the future development of fast
breeder reactors. " According to Venryes:
The same spirit led to the Franco-German
agreements which were signed in preliminary
form in May 1976, and which set the stage
for very close cooperation between France
and Germany with respect to research and
development and engineering work, as well as
industrial activities. Germany is also
associated with Belgium and Holland in these
Thus a pattern is emerging, throughout Europe,
of a gradual concentration of efforts and re-
sources. It is to be hoped that it will con-
tinue to spread, because it constitutes a major
guarantee of effectiveness and success for the
future of fast neutron plants . [178 : 64 ]
Thus nuclear power has followed the pattern of pan-European
cooperation which can be interpreted as an element of French
5 . Paris as a World Metropolis
Along these same lines, the Journal of Commerce re-
ported in 1974 that:
The new administration of President Valery
Giscard d'Estaing would like to see Paris
become an "international capital" as the
favored site for European regional head-
quarters, for Europe-wide financial insti-
tutions, and for industrial research and
development centers . [49 : 11 J
Therefore, the current thrust of French development
is the "internationalization of the economy, with Paris
serving as the new international capital." 1 - " J The brand
new Charles de Gaulle Airport located in Roissy, France is
listed as one of the pillars of the French government's plans
to make France a leading international gateway for the nine-
[49 • 13 1
nation European Economic Community. * Locating the major
source of Europe's future nuclear fuel production and enrich-
ment service in France also serves to make Paris a dominant
economic Mecca. Thus the French nuclear power industry aids
this goal of French foreign policy.
Beyond the ambition to make France the central source
of pan-European economic and political power lies the goal of
French foreign policy to expand the private industrial sector
to global proportions. The goal is to make French industrial
strength operate wherever and however possible throughout the
globe. According to Michel Pecqueur, the nuclear power in-
dustry is a prime example of this principle in action. "Owing
to its strong position in the fuel cycle market, CEA can ensure,
with the participation of private French industry, adequate
fuel supplies for national needs and keep free a substantial
4. 4.. i * 4. ,,[136:47]
potential for export.
"French industrial companies," says Michel Pecqueur,
"must develop their industrial and commercial activities in
France and abroad. Whether through shares or licenses,
these activities are reinforced by the considerable backing
of CEA.^ 136:47 '
The French government agreed with this claim that the
role of nuclear power can be used to bolster French industry
in the private sector with the view of extending French in-
dustry overseas. In August 19 75 CEA received the government's
authorization to combine its fuel cycle activities into a
private subsidiary. The new company was known as Cogema with
100 percent government ownership despite its private legal
status. By December of 19 76 Cogema held an impressive
potential in the field of the nuclear fuel cycle: domestic
mines, uranium reserves, shares in overseas mining ventures,
isotopic separation and reprocessing facilities. All this
was achieved in close relationship with the rest of private
In addition to the far-reaching worldwide nuclear
fuel cycle industry, the French foreign policy objectives
are benefiting from the nuclear reactor plants built and
exported by Framatome . According to Jean-Claude Leny:
Framatome can play a larger part in export
contracts than in home contracts and the
range of plants for export extends from 600
to 1300 MWe (megawatts) . For the supply of
complete turnkey nuclear power plants to
other countries, a special organization is
set up in each case. A consortium is estab-
lished led by Framatome as manufacturer of
the nuclear island and including one company
responsible for civil engineering, and
Framaleg, a Framatome subsidiary which is
in charge of general contracting and contract
management. A joint EdF (Electricite de
France) /Framatome subsidiary currently being
formed, will be in charge of technical co-
ordination of the whole plant . [97 : 55 ]
Thus one sees the major role played by the advanced reactor
technology segment of the nuclear power industry in advancing
the cause of international industrial expansion. Advanced
reactor technology has given France a considerable lead over
other suppliers of the world's demand for nuclear generated
electricity. The broad-based industrial program mates per-
fectly with French nuclear export policies. For example,
the French are encouraged to export whole nuclear complexes
or only the individual components depending on the needs of
the recipient. Furthermore, the foreign export licensing
policies allow components and equipment to be manufactured by
companies in the client countries, if it is technically and
economically feasible. It might be argued that the French
international industrial expansion policy can be measured by
the progress of French-supplied nuclear commerce.
Another foreign policy benefit of the French nuclear
industry is the international cooperation surrounding the
specialized transportation of nuclear components and fuel.
The CEA, for example, has its own transportation facilities
but the major proportion of transportation requirements
throughout the various stages of the fuel cycle are handled
by Transnucleaire , a company affiliated with several other
companies in other countries including the UK, Germany, and
the U.S. The specialized equipment, worldwide experience
and network of connections enable Transnucleaire to handle
every type of worldwide transportation operation for a wide
variety of prospective customers.
The Defense document identified three main areas
where French foreign policy plans to operate. The first
casts France as an international actor in the new era of
detente. The second area makes French foreign policy respon-
sible for the stability of the Third World. The last area
recognizes the opportunity for France to promote pan-European
cooperation and to project French industrial, economic and
hence political power throughout the world from an inter-
national capital in Paris.
Each of the identified areas of French foreign policy
are served by the burgeoning nuclear power industry and
commerce. One reason the nuclear industry has this capacity
stems from the similarity of purpose of French foreign policy
and French nuclear policy as they pertain to exports.
Jacques Sornein, director of general management in Cogema,
explains the policy of one of the many segments of the nuclear
power industry, the fuel cycle company:
The policy is to offer integrated services
covering the whole nuclear fuel cycle, in-
cluding fuel management, and to develop an
active exporting policy in this field. This
approach has been adopted because Cogema 's
own industrial capacity plus that which it
has access to largely outstrips French re-
quirements. Also the company at present
holds a strong position in the key areas
of uranium mining, enrichment, and repro-
cessing which gives it advantages over its
international competitors . It also owns
and manages various and diversified means
of transportation for radioactive materials
that can meet a vast range of clients ' re-
quirements . [156 : 5 7-5 8 ]
In other words, the nuclear industry has the capacity to
produce more than it can use at home. Therefore, the nuclear
industry is equipped with the means by which it hopes to
corner as much as it can of the world's nuclear power require-
ments. It is easy to see why the French nuclear power indus-
try has adopted a policy that matches the aspirations of the
French foreign policy. Although the two policies are similar
in purpose and intent, the objective of this section has been
to show that French government has actually used the commer-
cially exploitative nature of the nuclear power industry to
enhance the foreign policy of the French nation.
This section has served to identify some of the major
goals of French foreign policy as it exists today. The next
section will present the role of nuclear policy in contempo-
rary domestic politics. The ability of the nuclear industry
to reflect French domestic political trends will be examined
to determine whether or not nuclear power analysis can achieve
the same results of determining national domestic policy as
it seems to have done for the foreign policy of France.
D. NUCLEAR ENERGY AND FRENCH DOMESTIC POLITICS
The last chapter identified several of the goals of French
foreign policy. In order to understand the role of nuclear
power policy in the French political system it will be neces-
sary to define the relationship between French foreign policy
and contemporary domestic politics. Foreign policy must un-
dergo considerable public and private debate before it is
adopted. According to Professor Milorad Drachkovitch, the
French are more interested in the processes and procedures
for the agenda than for the final vote.
Major and minor political figures play an active role in
the formulation of French foreign policy. In the process of
challenging or defending foreign policy options, these actors
help to articulate and reflect the goals and aspirations of
the French people. Popular support is sought for individual
programs as part of the legislative process in a style remi-
niscent of De Gaulle when he appealed directly to the people
to overcome parliamentary opposition. Therefore, French
foreign policy cannot be assessed without an understanding of
the important role it plays in the hands of the skilled poli-
1 . Public Debate
Public debate forces the government to deal with both
national and international forces while formulating its foreign
policy. Despite the volatile nature of French domestic poli-
tics, the final product of foreign policy is one of the clearest
and most determined in the world, enabling France to exist as
a major actor outside of superpower influence. Jesse W. Lewis,
Jr., writing about France has said:
"En the broad area of foreign and defense policy
France is taken seriously and has credibility
both because it is a nuclear power — the only
acknowledged one in the Mediterranean — and
because it has sufficient domestic cohesiveness
to see its policies through . " [101 : 111 J
The purpose of this section is to go beyond an exami-
nation of the ability of nuclear power to enhance a country's
foreign policy. Evidence will be presented to show how the
nuclear power industry is used to serve not only foreign but
One of the key issues in the March 1973 elections was
the French economy. Each of the major candidates promised
ambitious programs for industrial reform, designed to cure
the stagnation, inflation, and unemployment, and to regain
the confidence of large investors, consumers and wage-earners
alike. A key element in Giscard's campaign promise was the
ambitious nuclear power program, promising to free the country
from 70 percent of its imported energy requirement by 1985.
Of all the candidates, only Socialist party chief, Francois
Mitterrand decided to challenge the government's policy.
Mitterrand sought to attract the French anti-nuclear lobby
after 30,000 protestors staged a noisy demonstration at
Super Phenix, the big French plutonium breeder reactor east
of Lyon in August, 1977. Mitterrand's pre-election campaign
speeches attacked the government's policy of headlong nuclear
expansion as reckless, "launched like a railroad engine at
[ 1 44 . 22l
400 kilometers an hour." L " J Auberjonois reported the
government's strategy in his article entitled, "Giscard Visiting
To deal with domestic opposition, the French
Government has sought to either sidestep the
debate or steal the thunder of critics with
timely public gestures.
Only a day before the rally against the re-
actor site in Creys-Malville , President
Valery Giscard d'Estaing chose to visit a
nearby uranium-enrichment plant and assert
his commitment to nuclear programs . [10 =10 J
2 . The Role of Nuclear Power Analysis
Mitterrand's party failed in the election. The major
reason given for this failure was the inability of Mitterrand's
Socialists and Georges Marchais ' French Communist Party to
maintain the Union of the Left throughout the election. One
of the subjects of disagreement between the Socialists and
Communists was nuclear energy policy for France. While
Mitterrand was courting the ecologists and advocating a
referendum on the government's ambitious nuclear energy
policy, the French Communist Party was supporting the all-
out program of the State. This disagreement mirrored the
many differences of opinion that characterized the defeat
of the Union of the Left. Therefore, one can argue that
nuclear power analysis could be used to uncover and highlight
domestic political trends.
A second benefit of using a nuclear power approach
to analyze domestic politics is its ability to predict the
amount of popular support generated by a party platform
during an election. For example, the anti-nuclear debate
prompted by Mitterrand's attacks on Giscard d'Estaing's
nuclear program was also a challenge to the basic principles
of the government's program for economic recovery. By using
nuclear power analysis, one can look beyond the publicly de-
bated issues of nuclear energy to determine whether or not
the government's program would enjoy popular support. For
example, Mitterrand was calling for a referendum on the
government's nuclear energy policy. Political observers
covering this campaign, believed that such a referendum would
in fact show that a majority of the people would favor a nu-
clear program. " "There is no alternative." wrote the
newspaper, Le Figaro , about the Socialists anti-nuclear
campaign, "The choice of nuclear energy is logical and un-
avoidable." 1 - ' J Most Frenchmen, concerned about rising
unemployment, would probably favor the nuclear power industry
with its beneficial effects on the French economy since the
impact of the nuclear industry exceeded by far the narrow
circle of heavy component manufacturers. Many other indus-
tries are involved, producing valves, fittings, auxiliary
piping, electrical generating equipment and controls. Con-
ventional occupations are involved with designing and building
the hardware and software, site preparation, research, mining,
financing and transportation. In other words, the government
decisions to exercise its nuclear option had a snowball effect
on the economy .
It is difficult to assess the effect that Mitterrand's
campaign to halt the French nuclear industry had on the elec-
tions. It is significant, however, that the new Minister of
Industry, appointed by Giscard, following the center-right's
stunning electoral victory was Andre Giraud who has been chief
of France's Atomic Energy Commission since 1970. This appoint-
ment was one of only five new cabinet positions filled by
Giscard specifically to keep a campaign promise that his cabi-
net "would contain some new faces who would symbolize the need
T 2 9 • 32 1
for social reform in France." 1 ' J It is obvious that
Giscard' s choice of the man behind France's nuclear program
to head the Ministry of Industry indicates that both the
president and his new chief of industry will be behind France's
nuclear energy policy. Thus the nuclear power industry has
served to identify the new administration's decision to pursue
its ambitious industrial reorganization; a move that reflects
a current trend of French domestic politics. Under Giscard' s
leadership France projects its foreign policy roles as an
agent of international change, as defender of the Third World's
independence, and as a European power. All three roles were
played out when French troops "rescued" the Europeans trapped
by the invasion of Zaire. Newsweek says that "Giscard 1 s show
of power abroad improved his political position at home. His
popularity increased after his first big overseas operation —
the French airlift of 1,500 Moroccan troops to defeat an
earlier rebel attack on Zaire in April 1977. "L 2:59 J During
the current Zaire crisis President Giscard achieved domestic
popularity at the fifth annual Franco-African summit with his
"Africa for the Africans" speech which prompted Gabon's
president, the current head of the Organization of African
Unity, to declare that Giscard deserved the Nobel Prize for
his African policy. " J The popularity demonstrated for
the President's aggressive African policies emphasizes the
role of foreign policy in the French political process.
The nuclear power industry serves the French politi-
cian by providing an overseas involvement which demonstrates
to the French constituency the successful role of France as
an independent international actor. For example, when
Giscard refused to back down under pressure from Washington
on a proposed sale of a French fast-breeder reactor to
Pakistan, he demonstrated a familiar brand of French toughness
reminiscent of De Gaulle. The political implications of this
were not missed by the U.S. press corps. A New York Times
The United States is aware that the issue has
considerable domestic political importance in
France and that it would hurt President Giscard
d'Estaing if there were the slightest indication-go . Afi -i
that he had yielded to pressure from Washington. J
3 . Conclusion
France sees herself today as a "leader among peers"
in the European Common Market. Despite the bilateral struggle
for Europe between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R, France is trying
to restore the prestige and bargaining power it once enjoyed
as a nineteenth century superpower. "Super-nationalism" is a
value shared by the average Frenchman. The very existence of
the great diversity of political goals among the French, the
coalition strategy which this diversity of goals and multi-
party system imposes, and most importantly, the French self-
image as a major political actor force prospective political
leaders to exceed their domestic political role to gain
Most comparative political scientists narrow their de-
scription of political systems to the processes that exist
within the national framework, thus ignoring the international
aspects of the French experience. The nuclear power industry
can help to transcend this arbitrary national boundary to help
explain the extra-parliamentary role played by French candi-
dates to increase popular support.
As demonstrated previously in this chapter, the nuclear
power industry has made great inroads in establishing France as
an influence in Third World countries. It also offers excellent
opportunities for advancing France's position as an economic and
commercial world leader. It has been made clear that because
the nuclear power industry serves French foreign policy objec-
tives, it can be used in the hands of astute politicians to
increase their popular support and political influence. It
is also clear that future French political debates will help
determine the role that the nuclear power industry will play
in French foreign policy. One must conclude, therefore, that
the nuclear power industry is both a source and an indicator
of French foreign policy.
International relations are becoming increasingly complex.
Worldwide information and communication and the search for
natural resources have drawn remote areas and primitive
peoples into the concern of the mainstream of international
Foreign aid and military arms transfers of a decade ago
are becoming passe. Middle Eastern nations now rival the mil-
itary power, influence and wealth of their former European
benefactors. Although it was once clear which country was
the benefactor in an arms transfer agreement, this distinction
faded recently when the Shah of Iran was encouraged by the U.S.
to buy the sophisticated F-14 weapons system in order to help
the American manufacturer out of financial difficulties.
Along with the changing political picture in the world is
the ever-increasing unification of national economies under a
worldwide economic standard. The European currency now being
discussed is one example of this change. The effect this
change has had on national economies is to expand the decision-
making process of national monetary decisions, once the exclu-
sive domain of congress and parliaments, to include state
department and foreign ministry financial advisors, and in
some cases, foreign governments.
Recent technological developments in weaponry, e.g.; the
neutron bomb, tactical nuclear artillery shells, etc., threaten
to increase the likelihood that regional conflicts will be
settled by military means. The proliferation of fast-breeder
reactors has increased the complexity of international relations
by increasing the danger that terrorists could acquire the
weapons grade fuel and use it for nuclear blackmail.
Conflicts are resolved short of military interaction by
several alternative means involving economic and political
interaction on many different levels. Often these solutions
affect a wide range of international actors. For example,
nations invoke oil embargos, suspend aid, extend credit, cancel
contracts, or submit to public debate in attempting to influence
an outcome short of a military show of strength. Often economic
solutions circumvent established treaties and organizations. As
a result of the complex interaction networks, foreign policy
decision-makers require rapidly acquired, accurate assessments
of changing events in order to formulate effective foreign
policy. Each decision must be assessed before it is implemented
for its possible consequences in as many spheres as can possi-
bly be predicted. In all cases, however, the political analyst
is charged with the task of monitoring international relations .
The use of a nuclear-oriented approach has been demonstrated in
global, continental and national perspectives. The global
perspective uncovered nuclear-related international networks
that are operating irrespective of national policy or inter-
national regulatory control. The existence of these networks
and the methods they employ to cope with energy scarcity
correspond to similar economic trends experienced in a variety
of multinational industries and corporations: cooperative
aerospace technology, shared computer systems, joint develop-
ment and production of defense systems, pharmaceutical research
and development by independent companies, to name a few. Each
of these apolitical, economically-oriented networks exhibits
evidence of being affected by international trends of coopera-
tion and conflict, and consequently reflects changing political
and economic developments. However, no single network can
equal the network involving nuclear power for its ability to
comprehensively reflect not only international trends of eco-
nomic and political development, but also scientific, environ-
mental, sociological, financial, military, industrial and
energy developments .
The continental perspective highlighted areas of inter-
national cooperation and conflict present in the unification
and industrial expansion of Western Europe. The continental
perspective also focused on the ability of the nuclear power
industry to chart the trend toward the reconciliation of the
economic and political differences that historically have
separated Eastern and Western Europe. Furthermore, the con-
tinental perspective of nuclear power analysis provided a
device to measure the success or failure of economic re-
approachment between certain industrial nations of Eastern
Europe and those of the European Economic Community.
Finally, this thesis focused the nuclear power analysis
on France. French nuclear power export policy exists today
as the cutting edge of French foreign policy. As it inherited
the legacy of the French arms transfer policy, it presents the
political analyst with several historic parallels by which to
compare the scope and direction of French foreign policy with
its scope and direction a decade ago. Furthermore, French
nuclear power export policy exists as a microcosmic copy of
French economic policy, designed to curb unemployment and
satisfy the demands of the heavy industrial sector. Therefore,
by charting the progress of the nuclear power industry's ex-
pansion at home and abroad, the analyst is provided with the
means of studying French domestic and foreign policies.
The nuclear power analysis will require all three perspec-
tives, global, continental and national, working in concert to
achieve a comprehensive picture of the political, economic and
military trends in international relations. One can envision
a computer network analyzing data from events, testing pre-
programmed hypotheses and constantly scanning interaction maps
similar to the five-step methodology suggested in Section D of
Chapter I. In such a system one could expect trends to appear.
These trends could be monitored for their closing rate towards
other trends calculated to be on collision courses. Current
air traffic control computer technology provides this service
for aircraft. The warning, "Conflict Alert," is signaled both
on the controller's scope and in each cockpit of the endangered
aircraft. Cockpit displays signal a recommended escape di-
rection, up or down, right or left, corresponding with an
opposite direction given in the other aircraft. Pilots are
trained to react immediately to these directions, suspending
judgment until the conflict is resolved. Supposedly, each
pilot is secure in the knowledge that his action is not made
unilaterally, but in compliance with an independent safety-
oriented computer, equipped to account for the overall
With enough imagination one might envision an international
trend analysis computer similar in design to the German auto-
motive computer that is being tested for automobile traffic
control in major German cities. The dashboard display picks
up inputs from magnetic strips in the city streets, utilizing
data from a central traffic control computer. Each car is
individually directed down side streets and alternate traffic
routes to avoid major traffic jams when they occur.
The possibility of this technology being used for foreign
policy decision-making is not that remote. By categorizing
nuclear-related events (i.e., Brazil buys a reactor from
West Germany) and linking these events to a decision matrix
involving global, continental, national and regional political,
economic and military networks, one might graphically illustrate
the possible ancillary consequences of choosing one alternative
over another. Previously overlooked repercussions could be
avoided. International partners could be forewarned and antici-
pated rival reactions could be circumvented. Congressional
debate generated by executive programs in areas such as
proposed arms transfers might be shortened by running the pro-
posals through comprehensive computer trend analysis. The
possibilities are limitless.
This thesis has suggested that nuclear energy, with its
far ranging effects on international economics and society, is
one logical choice for comprehensive international political
analysis. Other approaches, or combinations of analytical
frameworks based on other industries or other global phenomena
may prove more productive. However, this thesis has served
its purpose by suggesting that, regardless of the indicators
used, political analysis must and can keep pace with the
rapidly changing, ever more complex nature of international
(as of June 1, 1977;
COUNTRIES THAT ARE PARTIES TO THE NUCLEAR NON-PROLIFERATION TREATY
The countries listed below are participant* to the Nuclear Non-Proliieratioa treaty:
Central African Republic
China, Republic of
German Democratic Republic
Germany, Federal Republic of
Korea, Republic of
Nigeria, Federation of
Syrian Arab Republic
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
SOURCE: General Electric Company internal information,
provided during interview.
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